Listeria outbreak linked to Dole salads

January 25, 2016

Since September 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. Twelve people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from six states since July 5, 2015. All 12 ill people reported being hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence available at this time indicates that packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio, and sold under various brand names are the likely source of this outbreak.

State and local health departments are interviewing ill people about the foods they may have eaten or other exposures in the month before their illness began. Of five ill people who were asked about packaged salad, all five (100%) reported eating a packaged salad. Two (100%) of two ill people who specified the brand of packaged salad eaten reported various varieties of Dole brand packaged salad.

As part of a routine product sampling program, the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture collected a Dole brand Field Greens packaged salad from a retail location and isolated Listeria. This packaged salad was produced at the Springfield, Ohio, Dole processing facility. In January 2016, whole genome sequencing showed that the Listeria isolate from the packaged salad was highly related genetically to isolates from ill people.

On Jan. 21, 2016, Dole reported to CDC that it had stopped production at the processing facility in Springfield, Ohio. The company also reported that it is withdrawing packaged salads currently on the market that were produced at this facility. The withdrawal does not affect other Dole products.

Products subject to the voluntary withdrawal are identified with a product code beginning with the letter “A” in the upper right-hand corner of the package and are sold in 23 states and three Canadian provinces.

CDC press release

Dole recall press release