• The CDC is investigating two Listeria outbreaks
  • Both outbreaks have reported deaths
  • The outbreaks may be affecting more states than currently known

Two ongoing Listeria outbreaks have been linked to package salads, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both Fresh Express and Dole have issued recalls.

The CDC is investigating two Listeria outbreaks that are possibly related to packaged salads, it noted in a media release Thursday.

"One outbreak is linked to packaged salads produced by Fresh Express. The other outbreak is linked to packaged salads produced by Dole," the agency said.

In the Listeria outbreak linked to Fresh Express packaged salads, 10 people from eight states have been reported ill. All of them have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from Pennsylvania.

The company has issued a recall of several products under several brand names.

In the case of the outbreak linked to Dole packed salads, 16 people from 13 states have been infected with the outbreak strain. Twelve people have been hospitalized while two have died. The company also issued a recall of packaged salads Thursday. It affects products under brand names such as Dole, Kroger, Simply Nature and Marketside.

The outbreak strain has been found in two different packed salads from Dole, the agency noted, adding that investigators are still looking at whether other additional products may also be contaminated.

As the agency explained, it had actually been investigating the outbreak in 2019 and 2020 but couldn't "gather enough data" to determine the source. It reopened the investigation last month after four more illnesses were reported in August.

"State and local public health officials are interviewing people, or their family, about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick," the agency noted. "Of the 8 people interviewed, 7 (88%) reported eating packaged salads. Of the three people who remembered a specific brand, two reported Dole and one reported Little Salad Bar."

Based on the outbreak map, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin all have one case each, while Iowa, Ohio and Texas all have two cases each.

The real number of people who have gotten ill from the outbreak is "likely higher" than what has been reported, the agency clarified. Furthermore, they may be affecting more states than currently known as some people can recover from the illness even without receiving medical care and getting tested for Listeria.

Those who may have bought packaged salads affected by either the Fresh Express or Dole recall are advised to not eat the products and instead to throw them away or return them to where they were bought. They should also clean and sanitize their refrigerator as well as any other items or surfaces that may have come in contact with the recalled products as Listeria can survive even in refrigerator temperatures and spread easily.

Pictured: Representative image of a salad. Pixabay