Due to a possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination in Ready-To-Go (RTE) salads, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a health alert. They are particularly alerting consumers about certain salads produced from March 10, 2023 to March 24, 2023. The main concern is that since these salads haven’t reached their expiration dates yet, they may still be in peoples’ fridges.
The products affected by this public health alert bear these labels:
- 5.5-oz. clear plastic packages containing “Fruit Ridge Farms White Chicken Caesar Salad” with sell by dates 03/10/23 through 04/14/23.
- 4.6-oz. clear plastic packages containing “Fruit Ridge Farms Chef Salad with Ham” with sell by dates 03/10/23 through 04/14/23.
- 5.5-oz. clear plastic packages containing “BELL’S BISTRO White Chicken Caesar Salad” with sell by dates 03/10/23 through 04/14/23.
- 4.6-oz. clear plastic packages containing “BELL’S BISTRO Chef Salad with Ham” with sell by dates 03/10/23 through 04/14/23.
Thus far, there have been no reported illnesses, and officials are acting out of an abundance of caution for the sake of peoples’ health. The states that these products have been shipped to, and distributed in, include: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Idaho, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
Although most do not require hospitalization or lengthy treatment when becoming infected with this bacteria, for some it can cause serious health complications – including dementia, death, and the lose of a pregnancy. One tricky factor that people must also consider is that it can be very hard to trace; It can take up to 70 days for someone to begin showing signs of infection. Symptoms, according to the FSIS, include: fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues. Remind you of anything? Yes, the flu. This is why Listeria is so often misdiagnosed, making it all the more dangerous. In its worst form, however, victims are often diagnosed with encephalitis or meningitis, both of which are very serious illnesses.
Those who are most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill are the immunocompromised, pregnant women, the elderly, and the young. This is why it is vital to inform your health provider if you start experiencing flu-like symptoms – especially if within 70 days of consuming a product that has been potentially contaminated with Listeria.