The Food and Drug Administration has added an outbreak of Listeria infections to its investigations update. The outbreak was announced Dec. 20 and has been traced to salad from Fresh Express
Fresh Express has initiated a recall of dozens of products because of the FDA’s findings. The complete list of products can be seen by clicking here.
The FDA is reporting that the outbreak has sickened 10 people, with one death. All 10 patients required hospitalization. So far sick people have been reported in Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“As a part of routine sampling, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) collected a product sample of Fresh Express Sweet Hearts salad mix with a Use-By-Date of December 8, 2021 for testing. The sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and subsequent whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis determined that the Listeria monocytogenes present in the samples matches the strain that has caused illnesses in this outbreak,” according to the FDA.
“In response to the sample results and the ongoing outbreak investigation, Fresh Express voluntarily ceased production at the Streamwood, IL, facility and initiated a recall of certain varieties of its branded and private label salad products produced at the company’s Streamwood, Illinois facility. The recall includes all Use-By Dates of fresh salad items with product codes Z324 through Z350.”
As of Dec. 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not posted information on the outbreak linked to the Fresh Express salad.
In another investigation into an unrelated Listeria outbreak, the FDA has yet to determine a source of the pathogen. The agency announced that outbreak this past week. At that point it had sickened 16 people. The FDA did not report how many states are involved or when the people became ill. The agency has begun on-site inspection and product sampling efforts to find the source of the Listeria, but it has not reported what food or foods are involved in those efforts.
As of Dec. 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not reported any information on the Listeria outbreak of unknown origin. That is not unusual for the CDC, which tends to wait until a possible cause of infections has been determined.
In other outbreak news, the FDA has begun onsite inspections, as well as traceback and sample analysis in an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Javiana infections. The outbreak has now sickened at least 60 people.
The table below shows active outbreak investigations being managed by FDA’s CORE Response Teams. The investigations are in a variety of stages. Some outbreaks have limited information with active investigations ongoing, others may be near completion. The table below has been abbreviated to show only active investigations.
The Food and Drug Administration will issue public health advisories for outbreak investigations that result in “specific, actionable steps for consumers — such as throwing out or avoiding specific foods — to take to protect themselves,” according to the outbreak table page.
Not all recalls and alerts result in an outbreak of foodborne illness. Not all outbreaks result in recalls.
Outbreak investigations that do not result in specific, actionable steps for consumers may or may not conclusively identify a source or reveal any contributing factors, according to CORE’s outbreak table page. If a source(s) and/or contributing factors are identified that could inform future prevention, FDA commits to providing a summary of those findings, according to CORE officials.
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