(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is currently investigating two separate Listeria outbreaks, both of which are linked to packaged salads.
Pennsylvania is one of eight states where this outbreak has occurred, and two people from the commonwealth are reported to be infected. New Jersey has also had two people infected from contamination, while Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Virginia have all reported one case.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by the germ Listeria monocytogenes. People usually become ill with listeriosis after eating contaminated food. The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. It’s rare for people in other groups to get sick with Listeria infection. For more specific information from the CDC, click HERE.
Some key points from the outbreak:
- 10 infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from eight states. All 10 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported.
- Interviews with ill people and laboratory data show that Fresh Express packaged salads may be contaminated with Listeria and may be making people sick.
- On Dec. 20, 2021, Fresh Express recalled several brands of packaged salad products. The recall includes all Use-By Dates with product codes Z324 through Z350 and involves salad items distributed across 19 U.S. states and portions of Canada.
- Brands include 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.
- CDC is advising people not to eat, sell, or serve any recalled products.
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In response, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dole announced a voluntary recall for salads that came from their facilities in Bessemer City, N.C., and Yuma, Ariz. They have also temporarily suspended operations at both places for extensive cleaning and sanitization.
The FDA adds the Dole products being recalled are identified by a product code beginning with the either the letter “N” or “Y” in the upper right-hand corner of the package. It will also have a “Best if Used By” date between Nov. 30, 2021, and Jan. 8, 2022.
Consumers who have any of these products in their refrigerators are urged to throw them away immediately.