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What is Listeria? How many people have died from outbreak in Dole packaged salads?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating two separate Listeria outbreaks linked to packaged salads that have resulted in fatalities.

Update:
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating two separate Listeria outbreaks linked to packaged salads that have resulted in fatalities.
CARLOS BARRIAREUTERS

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking two separate Listeria outbreaks linked to package salads that has resulted in at least three deaths and 50 people sicken in 18 states. Packaged salads produced by Dole and Fresh Express tied to the outbreak have been voluntarily recalled.

The CDC recommends throwing away the recalled items or returning them to where they were purchased and cleaning your refrigerator as well as any surfaces that may have come into contact with the products. Three separate recalls have been issued, one each for Fresh Express and Dole products in December and a second for Dole packaged salads in January.

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Which Fresh Express packaged salads are being recalled?

The recall for Fresh Express salad products was triggered when the Michigan Department of Agriculture discovered the bacterium when doing random sampling tests. The recall applies to all "Use-By Dates" with product codes Z324 through Z350 that were produced at the company's Streamwood, Illinois facility. The salad products were distributed through retailers in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States and in Canada.

The recall notice provides a full list of Fresh Express products that should be tossed including Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic.

Which Dole packaged salads are being recalled?

Listeria showed up in random sampling at four separate Dole production facilities across the US. The company has recalled packaged salad products that include mixed greens, garden salads, Caesar kits, and many other types of salads in bags or clamshells shipped to several states around the US and parts of Canada.

The affected packages can be identified by the codes in the upper right-hand of the package that will begin with the letter B, N, W or Y. The recall applies to products with "Best if used by" dates from 30 November 2021 through 9 January 2022.

The products are sold under multiple brands including: Ahold, Dole, HEB, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature's Promise, President's Choice and Simply Nature.

What is Listeria and how is it dangerous?

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause severe infections which can be fatal in young children and frail or elderly people as well as others with weakened immune systems. It can also lead to pregnant women having miscarriages and stillbirths.

It may result in short-term illness in healthy individuals with symptoms including high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

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