The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently announced investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection related to Fresh Express packaged salads.
Fresh Express has recalled the products and has advised consumers not to eat, sell or serve any products that have been called back. The agency claims that investigation is ongoing, and further details will be communicated if additional products need to be recalled.
Reportedly, ten people were infected and linked with the outbreak across around eight states. As part of the systematic sampling efforts, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development collected the sample of Fresh Express prepackaged sweet butter and romaine lettuce.
The sample tested positive for the infection and matched the strain of the outbreak. Owing to this, Fresh Express itself stopped production at their Streamwood, Illinois, facility and started recalling certain varieties of its registered and private label salads produced there in.
Frank Yiannas, FDA's deputy commissioner for food policy and response, said that the agency would continue to work with local partners and Fresh Express to determine the source of this outbreak. In addition, FDA is committed to transparency, and more updates will be provided as soon as they are available during the traceback investigation.
The FDA mentions that anyone who has received the recalled products must use them with extra caution, which includes cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have been contacted with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Apparently, Listeria can survive in frozen temperatures and spread easily to other foods and surfaces.
Consumers infected with listeriosis can witness symptoms like muscle aches, nausea, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. In more severe cases, symptoms like stiff neck, headache, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions can be observed. The infection can also result in death for the very young, elderly and the immune-compromised.
Source Credit - https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-brief-fda-announces-outbreak-investigation-listeria-monocytogenes-found-fresh-express-packaged