The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced two separate recalls of premade salad kit products due to the presence of listeria bacteria, a potentially dangerous pathogen. The first recall was issued by Fresh Express, a company based in Morrow, Georgia, for three versions of their pre-made chopped salad kit. These products were sold in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The second recall was issued by Revolution Farms, located in Caledonia, Michigan, for all of their products, which were sold in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that can be especially dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children, those with weak or compromised immune systems, and seniors. Symptoms of the infection can include chills, fever, achiness, nausea, and vomiting. In the United States, an estimated 1,600 people get sick from listeria each year, and about 260 die.
The contamination of the salad kits was discovered during routine testing. The FDA recalled the Fresh Express products because a sample of the salad kit collected by the Georgia Department of Agriculture returned evidence of the listeria pathogen on March 31. Revolution Farms recalled their products because a random sample test of a package of their product returned evidence of the pathogen on April 5. The products have since passed their “Sell By” date, but the FDA is still warning people to check their refrigerators for the recalled products.
The FDA is currently investigating a listeria outbreak based on samples collected as far back as July 2018. As of February 15, 2023, the CDC has reported a total of 11 people infected with the outbreak strain. This number is likely an undercount, though, as some people recover without medical care and are not tested for listeria.
The FDA is urging people to avoid eating the recalled products and to throw them away or return them to the store for a refund. The FDA is also asking stores to remove the recalled products from their shelves and to check their own records to determine if they have sold any of the recalled products.
The FDA is continuing to investigate the source of the contamination and is monitoring the situation closely. In the meantime, they are reminding people to check food labels carefully and to only purchase products from trusted sources. They also recommend washing fruits and vegetables before eating them, avoiding unpasteurized dairy products, and cooking foods thoroughly.