Publix Spinach and Fresh Express Spinach recalled due to listeria fears

Bagged spinach recalled over listeria concerns

Bagged spinach recalled over listeria concerns


Fresh Express, the salad-mix maker behind two separate outbreaks that sickened more than 1,200 people in recent years, is now recalling two packaged spinach products sold by retailers in seven states due to possible listeria contamination.

The recalled spinach was sold by retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, Fresh Express stated in a notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration. 

The latest recall by the Salinas, California, subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International involves 8-ounce packages of Fresh Express Spinach with the product code G332 and use-by date of December 15 and 9-ounce packages of Publix Spinach with the product code G332 and now expired use-by date of December 14.

Image of the front of recalled Fresh Express Spinach package.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The Fresh Express Spinach being recalled bears the UPC code 0 71279 13204 4 and was distributed to retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. 

The recalled Publix Spinach bears the UPC code 0 41415 00886 1 and was distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. 

Image of a recalled Publix Spinach package.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The recall comes after routine sampling by the Florida Department of Agriculture found listeria in a randomly chosen package of spinach.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in the young, frail or elderly, as well as those with weakened immune systems, the recall notice cautioned. Healthy people may suffer short-term symptoms such as fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, and miscarriages and stillbirths among those pregnant. 

No illnesses related to the recalled products have yet been reported. The recalled products should not be eaten but thrown out instead. Those who purchased the recalled greens can call Fresh Express at (800) 242-5472 between 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern. Refunds are also available at the place of purchase.

Hundreds stricken by Fresh Express salads

Fresh Express is the company behind an 2018 outbreak of intestinal illnesses tied to salads sold at McDonald’s restaurants that resulted in 511 confirmed cases of cyclospora infections in 15 states and New York City. All 511 people were stricken after eating salads from McDonald’s restaurants in the Midwest, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were no deaths, but 24 people were hospitalized, with McDonald’s switching to another salad-mix supplier as a result.

The FDA confirmed the presence of the cyclospora at a Fresh Express processing plant in Streamwood, Illinois. 

In June of 2020, Fresh Express recalled bags of salad produced at the Streamwood plant due to cyclospora infections that eventually infected 701 people in 14 states, hospitalizing 38 people, according to the CDC. No deaths were reported. 

The following year, Fresh Express recalled 10 brands of salad mixes after listeria was found in a sample test of its products, with those items also produced at the company’s plant in Streamwood. The products were linked to an outbreak that hospitalized 10 and resulted in one death, according to the CDC.

More recently, in April of this year, Fresh Express recalled salad kit products produced in Morrow, Georgia, due to listeria concerns, with no illnesses reported.

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