Listeria has such a long incubation period that some people who ate Dole salads recalled in January still have a month to watch themselves for symptoms of an infection. Dole recalled the salads after it was linked salads produced at Dole’s facility in Springfield, Ohio and sold under a variety of brand names was discovered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak has sickened 18 people; one person has died.
The recalled salads were sold under the following names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. The manufacturing code found underneath the “enjoy by” date of potentially affected salads begins with the letter “A.” They were sold at Giant, Kroger, ALDI, Price Chopper, Walmart, Fred Meyer, Schnucks, Meijer, ShopRite, Stop n Shop, Food 4 Less, Jay C, FoodsCo, PriceRite and other stores.
Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take up to 70 days after exposure to develop. They include stiff neck, headache, muscle soreness and flu-like symptoms that are sometimes preceded by nausea, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Those most at risk are young children, seniors, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and infection in newborns. One of the case patients in this outbreak, who range in age from 3 to 83 years old, is a pregnant woman.
Lab tests and epidemiologic evidence indicate that bagged salads produced at Dole’s Springfield plant are the likely source of this outbreak, according to the CDC. These salads were also sold in Canada where eleven people have been sickened and three have died. It has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the cause of the deaths, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
On January 22, Dole announced it was “temporarily suspending operations at its Springfield, Ohio production facility, and is voluntarily withdrawing from the market all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at that location.” On January 27, the company announced it was recalling all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at its Springfield plant.
By state, the case count in this outbreak is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (2), New Jersey (1), New York (5), Ohio (2), and Pennsylvania (1). The one fatality was reported in Michigan.