Dole Salads Tied to Listeria Outbreak, CDC Reports 1 Dead, 11 Hospitalized
A listeria outbreak across six states has left one dead and 11 hospitalized, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.
The CDC was able to tie the outbreak to salads after interviewing five people who said that they had eaten salads before they got sick. Two of the people specifically named a Dole brand of salad. The cases were reported back on July 5, 2015 but the CDC did not investigate until September.
The patient who died was from Michigan, the CDC reported. So far, New York has the most number of cases with four people getting sick. The other states that have been affected include Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture stated the company's "Field Greens" packaged salad that was produced at the Springfield, Ohio location tested positive for the bacteria. The bacteria was also genetically linked to the strain found in the patients. Dole has since announced that it will be withdrawing all of the salad products that were made at this facility. The facility was also closed down.
The CDC stated that the packaged salads were sold as Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President's Choice. The agency added that consumers can also identified these packaged salad products by looking at the manufacturing code. All of the salads being withdrawn contain the letter "A" at the beginning of the code.
Dole added that its salad products from the other facilities are safe to consume.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, stated that the country has to do a better job of handling outbreaks.
"Even though the investigation began last September, the source (of the outbreak) was not known until this month, leaving consumers across the country vulnerable to the outbreak," She said in a statement reported by USA TODAY. "From the E.coli and norovirus outbreaks at Chipotle, to this latest incident with Dole, American consumers are being sickened, hospitalized and sometimes killed by deficiencies in our food safety system."
The incubation for listeria is between three and 70 days, which can make an outbreak very difficult to track.
The bacteria can cause symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches and confusion. An infection is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.