The Listeria outbreak linked to salads produced at Dole’s plant in Springfield, Ohio has ended with 19 people sickened and 1 death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Canada 14 people were sickened and three of them died, although health officials in Canada have not been determined if Listeria was the cause of those deaths.
All case patients in both countries were hospitalized. One illness was reported in a pregnant woman.
Health officials used whole genome sequencing (WGS) to determine that the isolates of case patients in both countries were closely related genetically. Genetic, epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated a link between packaged salad products produced at Dole’s Springfield plant and the outbreak of listeriosis.
Recalls were issued in both countries. In Canada, the salads linked to the outbreak were sold under the brand names Dole and PC Organics. In the U.S., the recalled salads were sold under the following names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice.
Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take as long as 70 days to develop. They include: nausea and diarrhea followed by fever, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and muscle aches. See a doctor and mention exposure to Listeria through this recalled salad if you do experience these symptoms.
Young children, seniors, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk for Listeria infections. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and illness in newborns.
In the US, onset of illness was reported from July 5, 2015 to January 31, 2016. The case patients ranged in age from 3 years to 83, with a median age was 64. Seventy four percent of those sickened were female.
Cases were reported from Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (2), New Jersey (1), New York (6), Ohio (2) and Pennsylvania (1).The fatality was reported in Michigan.
Fourteen case patients were interviewed by health officials. Thirteen of them reported eating a packaged salad before they became ill. The nine people who specified a brand of packaged salad they purchased, reported various kinds of Dole brand packaged salads, according to the CDC.