January 21, 2022

Listeria Outbreak May Be Associated with Fresh Express Fresh Salad Items

A Listeria outbreak that may be associated with Fresh Express fresh salad items is referenced in a massive recall notice posted by the company. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has not announced the outbreak, but the FDA has. However, a December 18, 2021 press release issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development stated that they found Listeria monocytogenes in the company’s Sweet Hearts Romaine Lettuce Sweet Butter Lettuce. At that point Fresh Express had notified grocery stores that salads packaged in their Streamwood, IL facility should be recalled. Fresh Express did not issue a public recall notice by press release until December 20th.

Listeria Outbreak May Be Associated with Fresh Express Fresh Salad Items

In its recall notice Fresh Express stated that there are: “ten illnesses associated with the strain of Listeria monocytogenes detected in the random sample beginning in 2016 to the present.” This would seem to indicate that at least ten people have been sickened in a linked outbreak. We do not know the patient age range or where those patients live, or illness onset dates.

All of these products were manufactured at the Fresh Express Streamwood facility. Fresh Express has stopped production at that venue and has initiated a complete sanitation review.

Fresh Express Salads Recalled in 19 states and Two Canadian Provinces

You can see the very long list of recalled products on the press release page, along with product codes and UPC numbers. The recall includes all use by dates of fresh salad items with the product codes that range from Z324 through Z350. You can find the product codes on the front of the package below the use by date.

The brand names include Bowl & Basket, Fresh Express, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Market District, Marketside (Walmart), O Organics (Albertsons), Signature Farms (Albertsons), Simply Nature (ALDI), Weis Fresh From the Field, and Wellesley Farms (BJs). They were also sold at Hannaford.

The salads were distributed at the retail level in:

  • Connecticut
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin
  • Manitoba, Canada
  • Ontario, Canada

All Fresh Express salads sold in the listed locations with those product codes should be considered part of this recall. There are also a number of store brand and third party labeled salads that are included in the recall. A partial list of affected salads includes:

  • Bowl & Basket Baby Spinach
  • Fresh Express 50/50 Mix
  • Fresh Express Iceberg Garden
  • Fresh Express Kit Caesar
  • Fresh Express Organic Baby Spinach
  • Fresh Express Premium Romaine
  • Giant Eagle Baby Spinach
  • Giant Eagle Hearts of Romaine
  • Little Salad Bar Santa Fe Style Salad
  • Market District Ultimate Kale Caesar salad
  • Marketside Chopped Romaine Mix
  • O Organics Organic Spring Mix
  • Signature Farms Baby Spinach
  • Simply Nature Organic Mixed Greens
  • Weis Fresh From the Field Baby Spinach
  • Wellesley Farms Organic Super Greens

Risk of Listeria Infection From Consumption of Fresh Express Salads

If you purchased any of these items, do not eat them. You can throw them away in a sealed or double bagged container in a secure trash can, or you can take them back to the store where you purchased them for a refund. Clean your fridge after you discard these items.

Symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogen, can take up to 70 days to manifest. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, muscle aches, stiff neck, often preceded by nausea and diarrhea. Pregnant women may only be mildly ill, but this infection can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, infection in the newborn, and premature labor. If you have eaten these products and have been ill with those symptoms, see your doctor.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Listeria monocytogenes  infection after eating Fresh Express fresh salad products, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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