The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in packaged salad after 15 people across eight states were sickened, all requiring hospitalization. One individual has died.
The packaged salad, sold under various brands, was voluntarily recalled by Dole. These products were all produced at the Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. plant in Springfield, Ohio, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Public health officials in Canada have reported that across five provinces, seven people have been infected and one has died. Listeriosis has not been officially deemed the cause of death, according to Food Safety News.
Dole Food Co. in Westlake Village, California, issued a statement indicating the “voluntary withdrawal” of all products from the Springfield plant, citing that the withdrawal was the same as a recall. A Dole company statement clarified the difference in verbiage between voluntary “withdrawal” and “recall” as a difference only in words, but the actions are essentially the same. Dole maintains the terminology was used in their communication with the aim of using words that might be more familiar to consumers.
As of January 27, all retailers in 23 states and three Canadian provinces that received products from the Springfield, Ohio plant were contacted by Dole. The Listeria outbreak, dating back to at least July 2015, had not been linked by health officials to the Springfield facility, until early January when a lab testing a packaged salad from Ohio returned with a positive test result for Listeria monocytogenes. That particular Listeria strain matched samples taken from outbreak victims to federal disease databases.
The products recalled involve various leafy greens and fresh-cut vegetables that are packaged under the following brands: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice Organics, Food Safety News reported.