Fresh Express, Dole bagged salad recalled for possible listeria


Have you recently bought packaged salad? Check your refrigerator for the Fresh Express Sweet Hearts Romaine Sweet Butter and other lettuce salad mix.

Federal and state health authorities are investigating a multi-state epidemic of product-related Listeria monocytogenes infections.

The recall was triggered after a sample collected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) tested positive for listeria and matched the strain.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating the outbreak.

Consumers are advised not to eat the product and to throw it away or bring it back to the place of purchase. Restaurants and retailers are cautioned not to eat, sell or serve the recalled products.

Ten people have been infected and there have been 10 hospitalizations in eight states, including Michigan. One death has been reported.

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Fresh Express has voluntarily recalled the products and ceased production at its Streamwood, Illinois plant, according to a press release.

The product is packaged in 9 plastic bags. The other recalled products come in different sizes. The FDA also recommends that consumers be extremely vigilant in cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with the recalled products to prevent and reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Listeria can cause serious and life-threatening infections in children, the elderly, and weakened immune systems, according to the FDA and CDC.

A list of the recalled products, which includes spinach, spring mix, coleslaw and chopped salad kits, is available on the FDA website.

The recall includes all “Best Before Dates” of fresh salad items with product codes Z324 through Z350.

Consumers can also call the Fresh Express Consumer Response Center at 800-242-5472 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The CDC is also investigating a distinct link between the listeria outbreak and Dole’s packaged fresh vegetable salads.

Dole Fresh Vegetables has voluntarily recalled several brands of its packaged salads. The recall covers products with a best-before date date of November 30 to January 8, 2022. Products include mixed greens, garden salads, Caesar kits and other packaging and bags of salads.

Several brands are listed in this recall and include: Ahold, Dole, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature’s Promise and Simply Nature.

Dole salads, according to a press release, were processed at its facilities in Bessemer City, North Carolina, and Yuma, Arizona. The lot code begins with the letter “N” or “Y” in the upper right corner of the package.

Dole’s recall came after products were randomly sampled in Georgia and Michigan.

Consumers can also call the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

With both products, if you have them in your refrigerator, you should not consume the product and throw it away.

If you have symptoms of a listeria infection, the CDC advises you to contact your health care provider.

Symptoms of listeria infection

The CDC says the symptoms of listeria infection can be different depending on the person and the part of the body affected.

Healthy people may have a high fever, severe headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Symptoms usually begin one to four weeks after eating foods contaminated with listeria. But they can also start up to 70 days after exposure, according to the CDC.

Pregnant women

Typically, pregnant women only experience fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle pain. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, or potentially fatal infection of the newborn.

Higher risk than pregnant women

Symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and seizures in addition to fever and muscle pain.

What to do

The CDC says germs from the recalled product could spread to refrigerator drawers or shelves. It is important to throw away the food item and clean your refrigerator. Here’s what to do:

  • Discard the recalled food and any food stored with or in contact with it. Place it in a sealed bag. If it was in a separate container, wash the container with hot soapy water before reuse.
  • Empty your fridge and take out the shelves, drawers and other parts. Wash all parts with hot soapy water and dry with a clean towel.
  • Wipe down the inside of the refrigerator with hot, soapy water. wipe with clean water to rinse off the soap. Pat dry with a towel.
  • You can sanitize the inside of the refrigerator by using a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach in 1 gallon of water after cleaning with warm soapy water.
  • Replace shelves, drawers and other removed items.
  • Wipe food containers with hot, soapy water before putting them back in the refrigerator.


Contact Detroit Free Press Culinary Editor Susan Selasky and email food and restaurant news to: 313-222-6872 or Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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