Promotion of healthier lifestyles has led to an increase in consumption of fresh produce. Such foodstuffs may expose consumers to increased risk of foodborne disease, as often they are not subjected to processing steps to ensure effective removal or inactivation of pathogenic microorganisms before consumption. Consequently, reports of ready-to-eat fruit and vegetable related disease outbreak occurrences have increased substantially in recent years, and information regarding these events is often not readily available. Identifying the nature and source of microbial contamination of these foodstuffs is critical for developing appropriate mitigation measures to be implemented by food producers. This review aimed to identify the foodstuffs most susceptible to microbial contamination and the microorganisms responsible for disease outbreaks from information available in peer-reviewed scientific publications. A total of 571 outbreaks were identified from 1980 to 2016, accounting for 72,855 infections and 173 deaths. Contaminated leafy green vegetables were responsible for 51.7% of reported outbreaks. Contaminated soft fruits caused 27.8% of infections. Pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli and Salmonella, norovirus, and hepatitis A accounted for the majority of cases. Large outbreaks resulted in particular biases such as the observation that contaminated sprouted plants caused 31.8% of deaths. Where known, contamination mainly occurred via contaminated seeds, water, and contaminated food handlers. There is a critical need for standardized datasets regarding all aspects of disease outbreaks, including how foodstuffs are contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. Providing food business operators with this knowledge will allow them to implement better strategies to improve safety and quality of fresh produce.