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August 11th, 2010
06:19 PM ET

Fresh Express Salad recalled again

For the third time since May, Fresh Express, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, is voluntarily recalling certain salad products – this time due to possible Listeria contamination.

Fresh Express says in a statement, that the company is "voluntarily recalling 2,825 cases of Veggie Lovers Salad with a Product Code of I208 and Use-by date of August 10, 2010 out of an abundance of caution," even though nobody has reportedly gotten sick so far.  Each case holds 12 bags, so approximately 34,000 bags are being recalled.  Fresh Express spokesman Ed Loyd tells CNN "that's about 30,000 bags out of 720 million bags we produce in a year."

The lettuce may be found in as many as 26 states.  According to the company statement, these bags of lettuce were shipped to 13 states (MO, MI, OH, IL, WI, IN, MD, MA, NY, KS, KY, PA, NJ) and possibly redestributed to 14 states (AR, TN, WV, IA, MN, VA, VT, NH, NE, RI, PA, CT, MS, ME). 

Loyd tells CNN that Fresh Express was notified about the possible contamination Tuesday morning and sent out a release by the end of the day.  He says since it's past the products' expiration date, these bags of lettuce should no longer be available for sale.  However, consumers could still have some of this lettuce in their refrigerators, and if they do, they should throw it out.

Last month Fresh Express had to recall some romaine lettuce due to possible E. coli contamination and in May, the company recalled certain packages of  salad due to possible salmonella contamination.


Filed under: Food Safety

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Erick

    Buy organic, buy local. Pick one local farmer, butcher, and baker to do business with, and get to know them.

    If you know them by name and by face they won't cut corners and make you sick. One small bit of bad press absolutely destroys small business, but huge corporations couldn't care less because they'll just buy your silence or just turn their focus over to the millions of other consumers who are little more than zombies with credit card debt.

    August 11, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mathis

      well said. There are so many benefits to buying local, its unreal. When food is the result of a prepackaged industry, its time to put the power back in your own hands. Eat local.

      August 11, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
    • Bobby

      Organic is for suckers.

      August 11, 2010 at 23:42 | Report abuse |
    • In The Business

      Buying organic will not stop animals from crapping in fields and distributing enteric bacteria to the crops, or crops growing in possibly contaminated irrigation water. In these cases, sadly, it is nature that is the culprit. You cannot test every single crop because there would then be nothing left to sell. The only reason these recalls are happening at all is because these companies and the FDA have started to test and now have results that lead to a recall. No testing = no results = blissfully unaware vendors and consumers. The recall means Fresh Express is doing their duty to the public by testing and acting on those results. Don't think for a minute that any product – organic or otherwise – is safe from pathogenic bacterial contamination. There's pop science, and there's real science. You, my friend, are on the side of pop science. It is never a question of whether there will be bacterial contamination, only a matter of whether the producers have the technology and money to find it and reduce it.

      August 12, 2010 at 00:20 | Report abuse |
    • Thoomas

      Your advice is something to consider, particularly the local markets.However this is a long-standing problem where the technology exists to kill these bacterial contaminates efficiently without chemicals – low level radiation. They do it in Europe and I rarely if ever see any of these incidents in Italy where I'm living as an American ex-pat. Congress needs to force these producers (produce, meat, you name it) to invest in tech that works and is safer for us Americans! Not bleaches that only wash the surface or adding other bacteria that's supposed to kill the bad bacteria! Anything to save a buck, at the expense of American lives!

      August 12, 2010 at 01:02 | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      @In the business: You are absolutely right. It is only of naivete (sp?) that people post simple generalizations like "buy organic" and think that solves the world's problems. Facts are that organic often requires 3x the resources to produce, particularly when it comes to things like cattle grazing and "free range" chicken and such. If we went organic on everything for everyone in the world, we couldn't feed the planet because there isn't enough land mass to support every human. Not only that, but organic waste – "poop" – contains far more damaging bacteria than many inorganic chemicals we use for fertilization. Organic is trendy... but so was LSD in the 70's... People need to read and be educated before posting comments which are borne of ignorance. It's like ethanol. Sure, it reduces the emissions from your tailpipe, but did you know that every production method of ethanol in existence today creates more greenhouse gasses than simple refining of gasoline? When you look at the lifecycle of corn from the field to your car, it causes more greenhouse gasses to use ethanol than gasoline. Read and learn! It does reduce dependence on oil, which is certainly good. But don't use ethanol and preach "green", because it simply isn't. Get past the marketing and study. Same is true with organics. They aren't a savior. They have pros and cons like almost everything else in the world.

      August 12, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse |
    • becca

      Erick, I agree with you. But those of us who live in snowy states can't buy fresh local produce year-round, although I know apples can go into long-term cold storage, and I think a few other types of produce can as well. But I'm guessing small producers probably aren't involved much in this aspect of the supply chain (I could be wrong).

      I live in the north, and our local farmer's market goes from June through October, leaving seven months with nothing but grocery stores. I guess we can't all live in California.

      I buy local produce sometimes, both from the local farmer's market and at the grocery store, where they sometimes will even name the local farm where something is grown. I buy some organic, but not as much as I probably should. I also buy to support my state (Michigan), especially when it's pointed out on the packaging that it's Michigan-grown (potatoes, berries, apples, etc.).

      Wherever you buy produce, common sense applies. Anything can have dirt on it, anything can have dangerous bacteria on it (though I'm no germ freak), anything can have pesticide (and probably does!). Scrub, rinse, and hope for the best. And by all means enjoy preparing and eating your own food!

      August 12, 2010 at 01:13 | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      @ Erik – Yep, been there, do that. Makes a lot of sense. Buying local bring a few good things, regardless of "organic" status. 1) You get fresher food whether it's from meats or plants. 2) You reduce shipping which does reduce greenhouse gasses, dependence on oil, etc. All good.

      August 12, 2010 at 01:16 | Report abuse |
    • Kent

      @Bobby – don't know if I'd go quite that far, but if I had to flip a coin, I'd probably lean towards your side!

      August 12, 2010 at 01:17 | Report abuse |
    • Neil

      @Kent: I appreciate your measured attitude and you're absolutely correct that blindly buying wholesale into the organic movement is foolish, and in some cases farmers end up utilizing more resources striving to meet USDA's "organic" standards than they would sourcing say, chicken feed, from a non-organic source, but I would like to know where you got your 3x the resources number. I would also argue that in "reducing" resource consumption (if only in the checkout line, to say nothing of the environmental externalities involved in cheap, petroleum-based agriculture), as you claim non-free range/organic livestock rearing does, we've actually created the monster that manifests itself in pathogen outbreaks similar to this one. The strain of E.Coli that now frequently contaminates meat and produce (as recently as last week) was unheard of before the early 80's, and even then would be otherwise-harmless were it not for the concentrated animal feeding lots that tank our cows full of cheap, petroleum-based corn rather than the grass that evolution created them to eat.
      I'll agree that every method, the emerging "localvore" movement included, has its pro's and con's, but I'm not quite ready to generalize any of them as "trendy" or passe; it's only when, as you noted at one point, that we as consumers educate ourselves and get re-acquainted with the food system that we can begin making smarter choices.

      August 12, 2010 at 02:41 | Report abuse |
    • WS

      Absolutely....eat local, wash your food, and watch the POV documentary "FOOD, INC." by going to the public TV documentary series website, POV.org .......then search "FOOD, INC." under programs. There is a travesty currently happening with the food industry by the 4 main food corporations and the American public is purposely kept in the dark!!! In this documentary, you will learn how most American farmers and growers are pressured and bullied into massive lifelong debt and bogus law suits. Also, you won't believe the extent that the 4 main food corporations practice massive country-wide unsanitary, immoral, inhumane, and unlawful practices through monopolizing the food business with powerful lobbies and deceitful practices. They've even purposely changed the way we Americans consume food to the point of damaging our biological and genetic cores. I URGE EVERY AMERICAN TO WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY: "FOOD, INC."

      August 12, 2010 at 03:31 | Report abuse |
    • DangerDan

      It's amazing that it hasn't made the news how South Korea won't allow more imports of American Beef. Obama is trying to renegotiate the food trade industry with South Korea but they won't budge. I wonder why? Maybe all of these reports of bacteria infested meats, poultry and vegetables? America as a superpower lacks in so many areas categorically that it makes the saying, "bigger is always better" untrue, unsafe and the international communities know it. Why has Obama sent 800 million pounds of rice to South Africa but raised price and limited the sale of rice to only one 50lb bag per person at a time in America (Asian Markets)? The government FDA regulations need an overhaul to areas that should have been solved over a decade ago. No one even questions the safety of tap water. I suppose pretty packaging and fancy marketing is all it takes to silence all questions about food safety.

      August 12, 2010 at 03:54 | Report abuse |
    • Lorenzo

      Buying from a local small-time farmer is unrealistic for the vast majority of Americans, who either live near no such farmer or can't afford pricey farmstand vegetables. It is an unfortunate fact that to feed our vast country we need to find ways to safely raise and distribute mass-produced food.

      August 12, 2010 at 06:29 | Report abuse |
    • Lyndsey

      Definitely watch Food Inc. Will change the way you eat!!

      August 13, 2010 at 06:26 | Report abuse |
  2. @Erick

    "If you know them by name and by face they won't cut corners and make you sick." Oh really. So if you don't get to know them, they're going to do everything they can to hurt you. Nice. Well, Fresh Express obviously can't get anything right, so I hope they go out of business and the CEO will get millions as per American Way of Life.

    August 11, 2010 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 1who knows

      Eric
      REALLY? If it was that easy to become a millionaire in the USA, there wouldn't be businesses here and if you don't like the american way MOVE TO KENYA,,O and could you take OBAMA home with you,,,Thats the American way...! Probally should think about what you write so you don't sound so "ANTI USA"

      August 13, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
  3. Louie

    Agian, my guess would be that this happened at an organic farm, or part of there farms are organic and recieved cross contamination.

    August 12, 2010 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Flaco Blunts

    Fresh Express: Listeria, E coli, and salmonella…now, that's a salad!

    August 12, 2010 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Rmac

    13 + 14 = 26?

    August 12, 2010 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Flaco Blunts

      PA is in both lists. Don't by meat from PA!

      August 12, 2010 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
  6. Anson

    "Watcxh out hwere the cattle go
    And don't you eat that yellow snow ...pea"

    With apologies to Frank Zappa.

    I buy local organic produce from a grower who doesn't use pesticides, doesn't cross-breed for good storage and good shipping but for good taste. Is his produce "cleaner' than any other? Absolutely not. Fecal contamination from infected water sources is a constant threat to all growers, but a careful consumer can reduce the threat with good sanitary practices in the kitchen.

    August 12, 2010 at 00:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. The Insider

    I've been in the produce industry all my life and I currently work for one of the largest produce growers on the East Coast. We grow large scale organic and non-organic products ranging from snow peas and snap peas to sprouts. I can tell you from an insiders point of view that we do way more testing and have far stricter regulations than your local farmer. In fact, get to one of your "Farmer's Markets" early enough and you'll see that most of them are just buying mass produced product and taking it out of the boxes to display as locally grown, it's legal. Getting to know one farmer, butcher and baker (and maybe a candlestick maker) won't do squat for you except improve your social life. I can honestly say that organic labeled products only help the bottom line of the company producing them, not the consumer.

    August 12, 2010 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cut the Foreign Aid or Congress Salary

      What they are doing should mean jail time. We pay a premium for stuff marked "Organic"

      August 12, 2010 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
  8. Martin

    I eat Fresh Express lettuce and coleslaw at least 5 times a week, over these periods. Haven't gotten sick once.

    I also buy from the farmers market though, but the prepared salad is so much easier to make quickly.

    Anyone who says that they "dont have time" to make a salad is just being lazy. I can make a salad for four people (even using a whole head of lettuce from farmers market) in less time than it takes to place an order for a family of four and pick it up at the drive thru window, never mind the time it takes to drive to the drive thru.

    I am NOT a professional chef.

    August 12, 2010 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Cut the Foreign Aid or Congress Salary

    Instead of spending BIllions of $$ in Foreign Aid – how about getting the FDA to do their job inspecting food? Yesterday it was a million pounds of hamburger. Tomorrow it will be something else. Maybe we should cut Congress' $174,000.00 salary every time there is a food recall? With the number of food reecalls in the past year, you would think the FDA would be on the job?

    August 12, 2010 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. WS

    This is nothing. I urge every American to watch the documentary "FOOD, INC." from public TV by going to POV.org. Then, search "FOOD, INC." under programs. You will learn how the 4 main food corporations purposely hide widespread unsafe, immoral, and inhumane practices (Watch the part about "Kevin's Law"). Furthermore, you'll learn how the 4 food corporations and their lawyers bully the majority of America's farmers and growers into massive lifelong debt through unfair contracts and business practices. EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2010 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. WS

    Go to POV.org and watch the documentary entitled "FOOD, INC." Every American should be aware of the travesty that is going on with our food for 4 massive monopolistic mob-like corporations. You will learn why the American public is kept unaware of where or how our food is produced or what the ingredients are (even BEYOND the labels). You will not believe how massive the problem is.

    August 12, 2010 at 03:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. WS

    CORRECTION in 2nd sentence: Every American should be aware of the travesty that is going on with our food FROM 4 massive monopolistic mob-like corporations.

    August 12, 2010 at 03:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Harry(NJ)

      That still doesn't apply to this problem, bactieria is also natural and organic, even if you purchased something organic you could still get sick.

      August 12, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  13. Lynn

    Does anybody else find it ironic that they issue the warning the day AFTER the use-by date?

    August 12, 2010 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Missy

    Since we apparently have some insider/expert folks posting, I wonder if someone might answer a question for me. Does rinsing thoroughly your produce remove the typical contaminants we hear about as reasons for recall? I wouldn't go to that bother with a bagged salad, but say with leaf lettuce and such. Thanks!

    August 12, 2010 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Insider

      Missy, you'll notice that most produce packaging has a "Rinse Before Using" suggestion printed somewhere on the label. One of the facilities my company owns just installed a brand new, state-of-the-art spinach processing machine (washer and bagger). It's the size of a small house. We triple wash the processed spinach after cutting before it goes into the poly bags you see on the store shelf and we just had a voluntary recall last month. Even the products we grow indoors hydroponically in near sterile conditions come back with positive Listeria water tests from time to time without explanation. Sometime the contamination starts at the seed level and ruins an entire harvest. You MUST wash every piece of produce before consumption just to be sure, but don't live your life in fear. The great news is that we have these recalls for a reason, there are HAACP plans in place at all of these major processors to ensure the general public doesn't get sick. Too many of these naysayers will blame big corporations for unclean and unfair practices when in reality, we're the ones testing everything that leaves our docks because recalls sink companies.

      August 12, 2010 at 19:59 | Report abuse |
  15. Lynn

    Missy, the FDA has guidelines on their website:
    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Does_Washing_Food_Promote_Food_Safety/index.asp

    August 12, 2010 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Lynn

    Oops, obviously that's the USDA. I have to be more careful with those acronyms!

    August 12, 2010 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. tommy corn

    Get rid of the ILLEGALS in the field and they will no longer be able to use our food fields for toilets, then no more ecoli

    August 12, 2010 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave

      This right here....when you have filthy people with no history of personal hygiene picking our produce don't expect it to be sanitary.

      August 12, 2010 at 07:46 | Report abuse |
    • Melone

      You sound racist.
      Where are all the "legals" who want to work the fields?
      Also, "legals" using the fields as a restroom is no different from "illegals." The problem would be the same.
      Nice try, looking for a way to speak your prejudice.

      August 12, 2010 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
  18. Patty

    I try to buy locally as much as I can. This can be an expensive proposition. Buying organic does not automatically protect you from these germs either. Farmers and pickers need to be careful and follow the rules. They need to make sure irrigation water is sanitary and clean and they need to segregate any product found not to be sanitary. I give Fresh Express credit for doing the right thing. Most of the product was past its expiration date and not available for sale and they still did the right thing. It does not matter what industry you look at, they all have skeletons.

    August 12, 2010 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Terry - Indiana

    If you have the time to travel to the Central Valley of California, you can ask permission to watch the process for getting lettuce from the fields to the bags. Processed lettuce has been around, at least for me, since 1973, when I first learned about the process. The bags of processed lettuce that you buy at the grocery store are created the same way. Anyone who is not checking the "Use By Date" on any processed foods, needs to re-think their methods for preparing food.

    August 12, 2010 at 07:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. william hoyle

    To hell with all you organic hippies.

    August 12, 2010 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melone

      william, organic fruits and vegetables TASTE so much better, especially apples, strawberries, grapes, and tomatoes. That's why I buy them when I can. What's your problem?

      August 12, 2010 at 08:49 | Report abuse |
  21. 1who knows

    Ok folks,Listeria can be around your kitchen sink..Haven't you ever heard your kitchen can be the dirtiest place in your house,(bleach kills listeria)USE IT,And DAVE just because you are in a field picking produce you are filthy? How you like to judge people!!So typical of people like you (Post a picture of your house)And are you a heavy person??Maybe you are filthy too!!I have worked in a vegetable processing plant for 8yrs and it is one of the top producers in the GREAT USA and I can tell you the cleaning process isn't just water and dawn detergent,,Do you wash your produce at home OR do you just grab it and eat it with no thought of your health or your family,It isn't washed and ready to eat unless stated so!In a processors plant the safety of the people eating it is number 1 not 2 vigerous testing is done every day in house and out,So all of you who are smacking your lips about processed vegetables really should consider looking at the BIG picture that surrounds you in your day to day living..DAVE to say they are some of the filthiest people HAVE YOU WORKRD IN A FIELD AND KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE and I bet we would be surprised at your hygeine and half the people writing the stuff on this page if the truth was known. You never hear of people getting sick from buying green onions or lettuce in the produce section of the store but I ASURE YOU IT IS THERE! If it can get through a plant who treats and cleans for it in there process IT IS IN YOUR HOUSE AND ON YOUR PRODUCE...These fields grow fruits and vegetables for the who;e GREAT USA and they get to your stores and in your houses...And William read my statement and just take Daves name out and put your childish name there..1whoknows

    August 12, 2010 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Harry(NJ)

    I understand the talk about the benefits of organic produce, but it does not apply to this article. Bacteria occurs normally in mature and therefore is organic. It would mater where you got your food from, local farmstand or Shoprite if E. Coli is present on your vegetable you still can get sick. Stop beating a dead horse, people.

    August 12, 2010 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 1who knows

    Melone
    He is a PIG thats whats wrong with him,He probally wallers with them daily and is a hater of anyone who considers there own preferance in what they do(PROBALLY A UFCW UNION MEMBER) and i'm sure he has never ate organic or the fool wouldn't be calling u a hippie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2010 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 1who knows

    WELL SAID HARRY!!!!

    August 12, 2010 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 1who knows

    OK i MEANT TO SAY (ufcw organizer)

    August 12, 2010 at 09:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 1who knows

      If you are sick and think it may be from some place you ate go to the Dr and tell them the suspect and they can test yo for all of the illnesses associated with food sickness such as listeria.Sicknesses come from all types of food weather it is processed bt strick guidelines or not....To ALL..How clean is the resturants you eat in..

      August 12, 2010 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
  26. Person Who Got Sick

    I eat salad very frequently, and have had food poisoning from salad twice in the past month. (Both times at well respected Chicago restaurants.)

    IF I ATE CONTAMINATED SALAD, DO I NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR EVEN IF I FEEL OK NOW?

    Definitely going to be more careful about where I eat.

    August 12, 2010 at 10:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • 1who knows

      Personwhogotsick,I am 49 yrs old and I don't go to places where I previously got sick more than once and did you ONLY eat salad both times and did you only eat salad the whole week you got sick,It could have been numerous things that made you sick SUCH as reading the racist comments that some people are posting here! All ..If you think it is from FOOD of any type tell your Dr and he or she can test for it and 99% of the time it WONT be a food borne illness like listeria or e-coli

      August 13, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse |
  27. GerhardWMagnus

    Has anyone wondered if some of the exploited migrant labor that picks this produce is feeling dumped on and resentful? What a way to get even! But of course it's impossible to imagine anyone resenting Real Americans because Real Americans are just... so... nice!

    August 12, 2010 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. todd

    sure don't eat it, but don't throw it out. Go back to the store you purchased it and get your money back.

    August 12, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. LanXang

    That is! I'm tossing my salad! who here wants to toss my salad?

    August 12, 2010 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. George

    You are a migrant worker, and the more lettuce you can pick in a day, the more money you make. So, if the urge to urinate or defecate comes over you, do you waste a lot of time going to the portable toilet, if there is one, or do you squat down and let it go right there in the field?

    August 13, 2010 at 07:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 1who knows

    George
    Are you a migrant worker?Have you ever been? And I haven't herd of any testing where it say's HUMAN poop can cause e-coli,Have you? And I have herd it comes from rodents,cows and a slew of other animals..So try not to poop in the lettuce fields..George

    August 13, 2010 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Bob Stevens

    Buying Organic Does Not Protect Against Food Borne Illness
    http://www.emaxhealth.com/1506/buying-organic-does-not-protect-against-food-borne-illness

    September 7, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. A better life

    Creator notifications : find informed by e mail when brand-new content is compiled by Milt a Bedingfield!norske spilleautomater

    February 7, 2012 at 20:58 | Report abuse | Reply

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