Lettuce may Contain Listeria

A multi-state Listeria outbreak (Listeria monocytogenes infections -listeriosis) has been investigated since September last year and CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in several states including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Listeria is  life threatening and can cause serious illness. This year, listeria outbreak was recently reported in WASHINGTON (AP) where the packaged salads produced at a Dole facility in Ohio are linked to one death in Michigan.

CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that 12 people in six states have been hospitalized in the listeria outbreak. Salads have been sold under the names Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President’s Choice.

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.

Investigation of the Listeria Outbreak

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.

On January 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. However, withdrawal does not affect other Dole products.

The agency says that the illnesses were in Michigan, New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

What do CDC recommend people to be aware of Listeria outbreak?

 CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, restaurants do not serve, and retailers do not sell packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio. These packaged salads were sold under various brand names, including Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. The packaged salads can be identified by the letter “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that packaged salads produced at other Dole processing facilities in the United States are linked to illness.

What are the effects of Listeria?

Listeria can cause fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms and can be fatal. It also can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and serious illness or death in newborn babies.

Thus, CDC, state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available.

Listeria outbreak

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