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:
|Product||Product Code||UPC Code|
|Bowl & Basket Baby Spinach 16oz||Z324 through Z350||041190066360|
|Bowl & Basket Spring Mix 16oz||Z324 through Z350||041190066469|
|Fresh Express 50/50 Mix 10oz||Z324 through Z350||071279275062|
|Fresh Express 50/50 Mix 5oz||Z324 through Z350||071279271033|
|Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix 6oz||Z324 through Z350||071279251011|
|Fresh Express American 11 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279241005|
|Fresh Express America’s Fresh 3 Color Deli Cole Slaw 14 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279123004|
|Fresh Express America’s Fresh 3 Color Deli Cole Slaw 24 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279127019|
|Fresh Express America’s Fresh Old Fashioned Cole Slaw 14oz||Z324 through Z350||071279123011|
|Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix 5 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279271224|
|Fresh Express Baby Spinach 10 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279275048|
|Fresh Express Baby Spinach 20 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279271262|
|Fresh Express Baby Spinach 5 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279271002|
|Fresh Express Caesar Chopped Kit 9.4 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279309194|
|Fresh Express Chopped Kit Asian 12.3 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279302027|
|Fresh Express Chopped Kit Avocado Ranch 12.8 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279309439|
|Fresh Express Chopped Kit Bacon Thousand Island 9.4 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279302096|
|Fresh Express Chopped Kit Bacon & Bleu 10.8 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279306063|
|Fresh Express Chopped Kit Chipotle Cheddar 11.4 oz||Z324 through Z350||071279306049|
|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.
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.
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 Description||Product UPC|
|Ahold 10oz Chopped Romaine||688267011085|
|Ahold 12oz American Blend||688267011535|
|Ahold 12oz Garden Salad Mix||688267184437|
|Ahold 32oz Garden Salad||688267011610|
|Ahold 5oz 50/50 Spinach & Spring Mix||688267176524|
|Dole 10.2oz Chopped Bacon Caesar||071430000892|
|Dole 10.6oz Chopped Greek||071430000885|
|Dole 10.7oz Chopped Fiesta Lime Kit||071430000991|
|Dole 10.8oz Chop Caesar Kit||071430000847|
|Dole 10oz 50/50 Spinach & Spring Mix Blend Clamshell||071430010983|
|Kroger 10oz Premium Romaine Blend||011110910387|
|Kroger 10oz Spring Mix Clamshell||011110910523|
|Kroger 10oz Tender Spinach (Teen)||011110916495|
|Lidl 12oz American||4056489210511|
|Lidl 12oz Garden Salad||20737726|
|Lidl 12oz Sesame Asian Chopped Kit||4056489210450|
|Lidl 14oz Coleslaw||4056489151265|
|Nature’s Promise 5oz Organic Baby Romaine Clamshell||688267154485|
|Natures Promise 5oz Organic Baby Spring Mix Clamshell||688267154546|
|Simply Nature 16oz Organic Spring Mix Clamshell||4099100088632|
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.