Multiple Brands of Salad Mix Recalled for Possible Listeria Contamination

The CDC is investigating listeria outbreaks that have been connected to 17 illnesses and two deaths so far.

A mixed greens salad is washed in the sink
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The CDC has announced that it is investigating a listeria outbreak that has been connected to packaged salads produced by Dole. As of this writing, 17 confirmed illnesses in 13 states have been connected to the outbreak, and two deaths have been reported.

According to the CDC, the affected products are sold under 11 different brands, including Ahold, Dole, HEB, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature's Promise, President's Choice, and Simply Nature. The products include Caesar salad kits, garden salads, mixed greens, and "many other types of salads in bags or clamshells." (The FDA notes that the product recall does not include "whole head packaged lettuce.")

The agency's recall notice says that the products will be marked with lot codes that start with B, N, W, or Y, and have "Best If Used By" dates between November 30, 2021 and January 9, 2022. (A complete list of the recalled salads can be found here and here.)

In a notice posted to its website, the FDA said that it sent investigators to Dole processing facilities in an attempt to determine the source of the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. At the same time, Dole launched its own investigation, and voluntarily recalled all products that had been produced at its facilities in Bessemer City, North Carolina and Yuma, Arizona.

After listeria bacteria was found "on equipment used in the harvesting of the raw iceberg lettuce," Dole issued a second voluntary recall for products that were processed in its Soledad, California and Springfield, Ohio facilities. The FDA said that the listeria sample collected from the equipment matched the strain that has caused the recently reported illnesses.

The CDC is also investigating a second listeria outbreak that has been linked to packaged salads produced by Fresh Express. The products included in that recall have been sold under the brands Fresh Express, Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic. The CDC says that the recall includes all packaged salads with product codes Z324 through Z350, and encompasses all Use-By dates.

Any customer who still has any of the recalled products in their refrigerators should throw them away or return them to the retailer where they were purchased. If the products were opened and prepared, the FDA encourages "extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products" due to the potential for listeria to spread to other foods or surfaces.

The CDC also recommends emptying the refrigerator and washing any shelving or drawers where the products were stored with hot, soapy water. It also suggests washing kitchen countertops and laundering any towels that were used in the cleaning process before using them again.

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