KANSAS CITY, MO. – Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. a business unit of the Dole Food Co., is recalling branded and private label packaged salads that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The products were processed at plants in Bessemer City, NC, and Yuma, Ariz., and the company has ceased operations at both plants. This is the second packaged salad recall this week. On Dec. 21, Fresh Express, a business unit of Chiquita, recalled salad kits manufactured at its Streamwood, Ill., plant and ceased operations there.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said an outbreak caused by Listeria has sickened 16 people in 13 states. The outbreak has resulted in 12 hospitalizations and two deaths.
Two product samples from the Dole plants matched a sample of the outbreak strain.
“This is the second Listeria outbreak potentially linked to packaged salads that the FDA and CDC are currently investigating,” said Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner of food policy and response for the FDA. “On Dec. 21, we announced a separate outbreak investigation of Listeria found in Fresh Express packaged salad. The FDA will provide additional updates as we learn more about these outbreaks. In the meantime, we advise consumers to avoid all recalled products.”
The FDA said outbreak strains have been identified in Iowa, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 2014 to Oct. 17, 2021. One case occurred in 2014 and the remaining cases occurred between 2018 and 2021.
Recalled products are sold under such brands as Ahold, Dole, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad
Ten people infected with the outbreak strain linked to Fresh Express salad kits have been reported in eight states, according to the FDA. The outbreak also has been associated with 10 hospitalizations and one death.
“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,” Yiannis said. “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.”
States connected to that outbreak include Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Products produced at the Streamwood plant were distributed in the Midwest, Northeast and Canada. Brands associated with the recall include Fresh Express, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Market District, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh and Wellsley Farms.