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Fresh Express salad recall: FDA investigates outbreak of listeria infections linked to packaged salads

Ten people have fallen ill, 10 have been hospitalized and one person has died in eight states during the listeria outbreak. The illnesses date back to July 2016, with the most recent coming in October, the FDA said.

The recall comes after the Michigan Department of Agriculture conducted a random sample test of a package of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix made at the Streamwood plant. The test was positive for Listeria monocytogenes, the company said.

“Fresh Express immediately halted all production at the Streamwood facility and initiated a comprehensive review of the remediation,” the company said in a statement. “Fresh Express has previously been in contact with retailers who received the recalled items, requesting that they remove them from store shelves and stop all further shipping to stores from distribution centers and other inventory.”

The FDA said the sample result matched the strain of the outbreak.

“We will continue to work with our partners and with Fresh Express to determine the source of this outbreak,” said Frank Yiannas, FDA deputy commissioner for food policy and response. “We remain committed to being transparent and providing updates as we learn more during our ongoing trace investigation. “

Listeria monocytogenes is found in humid environments and can survive under refrigeration and other food preservation measures, according to the FDA. When people eat food contaminated with the bacteria, they can develop listeriosis, a disease that most people have with fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The disease can be particularly dangerous and even fatal for the very young, the elderly and the immunocompromised.

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