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Recall alert! Packaged salads linked to deaths and illness across the US

Listeria is a type of bacteria that can cause high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. It can also be fatal in children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

That’s why it’s so important to take notice when food products are recalled over listeria risks. Earlier in December, pork products sold across the country were recalled due to possible contamination.

Now a new listeria outbreak has been discovered, this time involving two companies that produce packaged salads. These recalls aren’t out of an abundance of caution, with dozens of illness already reported across a number of states — and at least three deaths.

Here’s the backstory

Together with salmonella infection, listeria is one of the leading causes of food-borne illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 1,600 people are infected with Listeria each year. Of those, about 260 died.

The latest listeria contamination involves several salad products from Dole and Fresh Express. According to the CDC, the latter is linked to 10 illnesses and at least 1 death, while the Dole recall is tied to 12 hospitalizations so far and 2 deaths.

Recall of Fresh Express

On Dec. 20, Fresh Express recalled a number of its packaged salad products after the Michigan Department of Agriculture identified listeria in a bag of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts. The recalled products had been available through retailers in states including Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

The salad greens and kits were produced at Fresh Express’s Streamwood, Illinois facility and include:

ProductProduct CodeUPC Code
Bowl & Basket Baby Spinach 16ozZ324 through Z350041190066360
Bowl & Basket Spring Mix 16ozZ324 through Z350041190066469
Fresh Express 50/50 Mix 10ozZ324 through Z350071279275062
Fresh Express 50/50 Mix 5ozZ324 through Z350071279271033
Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix 6ozZ324 through Z350071279251011
Fresh Express American 11 ozZ324 through Z350071279241005
Fresh Express America’s Fresh 3 Color Deli Cole Slaw 14 ozZ324 through Z350071279123004
Fresh Express America’s Fresh 3 Color Deli Cole Slaw 24 ozZ324 through Z350071279127019
Fresh Express America’s Fresh Old Fashioned Cole Slaw 14ozZ324 through Z350071279123011
Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix 5 ozZ324 through Z350071279271224
Fresh Express Baby Spinach 10 ozZ324 through Z350071279275048
Fresh Express Baby Spinach 20 ozZ324 through Z350071279271262
Fresh Express Baby Spinach 5 ozZ324 through Z350071279271002
Fresh Express Caesar Chopped Kit 9.4 ozZ324 through Z350071279309194
Fresh Express Chopped Kit Asian 12.3 ozZ324 through Z350071279302027
Fresh Express Chopped Kit Avocado Ranch 12.8 ozZ324 through Z350071279309439
Fresh Express Chopped Kit Bacon Thousand Island 9.4 ozZ324 through Z350071279302096
Fresh Express Chopped Kit Bacon & Bleu 10.8 ozZ324 through Z350071279306063
Fresh Express Chopped Kit Chipotle Cheddar 11.4 ozZ324 through Z350071279306049
Fresh Express Chopped Kit Pomegranate 10.3oz

In addition to the U.S., the affected products were distributed through the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. They have also been sold under different brand names, which include Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Market District, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis and Wellsley Farms Organic.

Fresh Express recall vegetables

Check your fridge to make sure that you don’t have any of the infected salads or kits. If you do, discard them immediately or return them to the shop where you bought them. You can also call the Fresh Express consumer response center at 800-242-5472 and check out more information via the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by tapping or clicking here.

The Dole Fresh Vegetables recall

The recall that involves a host of Dole Fresh Vegetables was produced in the company’s Bessemer City, North Carolina, and Yuma, Arizona processing facilities. To easily check the packaging, contaminated products will have a “Y” or “N” lot code and a “Best if Used By” date between Nov. 30, 2021, and Jan. 8, 2022.

Dole vegetable recall

The contamination list is extensive and includes several Dole, Ahold, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside and Nature’s Promise products. They have been distributed through states including Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The full list of nearly 200 products can be found here, with some of the items listed below:

Production DescriptionProduct UPC
Ahold 10oz Chopped Romaine688267011085
Ahold 12oz American Blend688267011535
Ahold 12oz Garden Salad Mix688267184437
Ahold 32oz Garden Salad688267011610
Ahold 5oz 50/50 Spinach & Spring Mix688267176524
Dole 10.2oz Chopped Bacon Caesar071430000892
Dole 10.6oz Chopped Greek071430000885
Dole 10.7oz Chopped Fiesta Lime Kit071430000991
Dole 10.8oz Chop Caesar Kit071430000847
Dole 10oz 50/50 Spinach & Spring Mix Blend Clamshell071430010983
Kroger 10oz Premium Romaine Blend011110910387
Kroger 10oz Spring Mix Clamshell011110910523
Kroger 10oz Tender Spinach (Teen)011110916495
Lidl 12oz American4056489210511
Lidl 12oz Garden Salad20737726
Lidl 12oz Sesame Asian Chopped Kit4056489210450
Lidl 14oz Coleslaw4056489151265
Nature’s Promise 5oz Organic Baby Romaine Clamshell688267154485
Natures Promise 5oz Organic Baby Spring Mix Clamshell688267154546
Simply Nature 16oz Organic Spring Mix Clamshell4099100088632

Consumers are warned to not eat the products and to discard them immediately. You can also return them to the store where you bought them for a refund. If you need more information, you can call the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111. Tap or click here for additional details from

For more information regarding the ongoing listeria outbreak, the CDC has set up a dedicated webpage for prevention, what to know, and a complete list of recalls.

🚨 What it means for you

Make no mistake — listeria can cause severe health issues, primarily among pregnant women, newborns, older adults and others who suffer from weakened immune systems. A person who eats food contaminated with that bacteria could see symptoms ranging from headaches to loss of balance and even convulsions.

✅ Listeria isn’t the only food-borne illness to watch out for. The FDA and CDC are investigating a salmonella outbreak across 38 states linked to recalled onions. Tap or click here for details.

✅ It’s also a good idea to regularly check the FDA’s site for recalls and other safety alerts regarding food and drugs.

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