If You Bought This From Walmart or Kroger, Get Rid of It Immediately
This product has already been linked to two investigations and three deaths.
From grocery necessities to household essentials, both Walmart and Kroger sell a variety of items that shoppers want to get their hands on. But every once in awhile there are some products that are better left untouched. In November, a recall from KraftHeinz led to Walmart getting rid of four different drinks that posed potential health hazards. And more recently in January, Kroger had to remove nearly 300 prepackaged chicken salad croissants from its shelves for similar reasons. Now, the two retailers are both at the center of another major recall that has been linked to three deaths. Read on to find out what you might have brought from Walmart or Kroger that you should get rid of immediately.
The CDC has issued a safety alert for a variety of packaged salads.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a food safety alert on Feb. 1, notifying consumers that it is "currently investigating two separate Listeria outbreaks linked to packaged salads." The two outbreaks have been linked to impacted products produced by Dole and Fresh Express. Listeria is a "serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes," according to the CDC.
Dole and Fresh Express both issued recall notices for the affected products in late December and early January. The CDC notes that Dole's recall is estimated to affect around 13 states as of right now, while Fresh Express' has potentially impacted eight different states.
Walmart and Kroger are two of the retailers who carried the recalled produce.
The two manufacturers sell their packaged salads under multiple brands, some of which are sold at Walmart and Kroger. Dole and Fresh Market have sold their recalled products under the Marketside brand, which is sold in Walmart stores. Dole's packaged salads are marketed under the Kroger store-brand as well.
Fresh Express's other brands include Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simple Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic. Dole's recalled products are also sold under the following brands: Ahold, Dole, HEB, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Naturally Better, Nature's Promise, President's Choice, and Simply Nature.
Dole recalled mixed greens, garden salads, Caesar kits, and many other types of salads found in bags or clamshells that have "Best if used by" dates from Nov. 30 through Jan. 9 and product codes that start with the letter B, N, W, or Y, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fresh Express' recalled products also include several different types of salad kits and bagged greens that have product codes Z324 through Z350, per the agency.
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The two outbreaks have already resulted in multiple deaths.
Around 1,600 people get infected with Listeria each year, with about 260 dying as a result, according to the CDC. And both company's outbreaks have already led to fatalities. It is reported that Dole's packaged salads have caused 17 illnesses, 13 hospitalizations, and two deaths so far. And there have been 10 illnesses and hospitalizations, as well as one death linked to Fresh Express' packaged salads.
"Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems," the FDA explains. "Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women."
If you have any of the recalled packaged salads, do not eat them.
If you've brought any salad packages over the last two months, you should check your fridge to see if you own recalled items—especially if you've been shopping at Walmart or Kroger. The CDC advises that you throw them away if you do, or return them to where you brought them to obtain a refund. "Do not eat any recalled packaged salads," the agency warns.
You should also make sure to diligently clean anything that might have come in contact with the recalled products. This will require washing storage containers, shelving, drawers, and the inside of the refrigerator with hot, soapy water before using again. You might want to sanitize your refrigerator after with a mixed solution of bleach and water as well.
"Listeria can survive in the refrigerator and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces," the CDC warns.
RELATED: If You Shop at Kroger, the FDA Has a New Warning for You.