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FDA Announces Outbreak Investigation of Listeria Monocytogenes Found in Fresh Express Packaged Salad

To date, this outbreak has been associated with 10 illnesses, 10 hospitalizations and one death spanning the following states: Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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December 22, 2021

FDA

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our state and local partners, is working to investigate a multistate outbreak of?Listeria monocytogenes infections associated with the consumption of packaged salad. 

To date, this outbreak has been associated with 10 illnesses, 10 hospitalizations and one death spanning the following states: Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Illnesses started on dates ranging from July 26, 2016, to Oct. 19, 2021.

Fresh Express voluntarily ceased production at their Streamwood, Ill., facility and initiated a recall of certain varieties of its branded and private label salad products produced at the facility. The recall includes all Use-By Dates of fresh salad items with product codes Z324 through Z350.

“The FDA, along with the CDC and our state and local partners, is working to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections," said Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response. "To date, a positive sample of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix has been reported to match the outbreak strain. Fresh Express has voluntarily recalled products and consumers are advised not to eat, sell or serve any recalled products. Our investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to communicate should additional products be implicated.

“Ten people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from eight states. A sample of Fresh Express prepackaged romaine and sweet butter lettuce was collected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development as part of their routine sampling efforts. The sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and was a match to the outbreak strain. Given this, Fresh Express voluntarily ceased production at their Streamwood, Ill., facility and initiated a recall of certain varieties of its branded and private label salads produced in that facility.

“We will continue to work with our partners and with Fresh Express to determine the source of this outbreak. We remain committed to transparency and providing updates as we learn more during our continuing traceback investigation.”