On February 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned consumers that it was “currently investigating two separate Listeria outbreaks linked to packaged salads.”
Dole and Fresh Express have both issued multiple recalls, but because the illnesses date back to August 2014, it is likely that many products involved in these outbreaks will never be officially recalled.
Furthermore, the CDC believes that “the true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses.”
Dole salads were linked to at least 17 illnesses and 2 deaths in 13 states between August 2014 and December 2021.
Fresh Express salads were linked to 10 illnesses and 1 death in 8 states between July 2016 and October 2021.
The recall from Dole involves mixed greens, garden salads, Caesar kits, and many other types of salads in bags and clamshell containers. They were sold under multiple brand-names, including Walmart’s Marketside® brand-name and Kroger® store-brand salads.
The list of brand-names in the Dole recall includes:
- Little Salad Bar
- Naturally Better
- Nature’s Promise
- President’s Choice
- Simply Nature
The recall from Fresh Express involves salads kits and bagged greens under brand-names like 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.
An infection with Listeria monocytogenes can be very serious or deadly. Healthy people can experience symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, but the infection can also spread to the brain and cause death. Pregnant women may also suffer miscarriages or stillbirths.