July 2, 2022

Two Minnesotans Sickened in the Dole Bagged Salad Listeria Outbreak

There are two Minnesotans sickened in the Dole bagged salad Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The second patient was just added in the update issued by that agency on February 1, 2022.

Two Minnesotans Sickened in the Dole Bagged Salad Listeria Outbreak

Patients sickened in this outbreak live all over the country. The case count by state is: Idaho (1), Iowa (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Nevada (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (1), Texas (2), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1). Thirteen people have been hospitalized and two patients, who lived in Michigan and Wisconsin, died. The illness onset range is very long, from August 16, 2014 to December 30, 2021.

This unusual range is fairly common for Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks. When a person is sickened with listeriosis, which is a reportable condition, isolates are entered into PulseNet, the national database for foodborne illness pathogens. A match to another patient sickened with the same strain may not occur for months or years; then an outbreak is identified and may be announced to the public.

That’s what happened with this outbreak. The CDC investigated illnesses in 2019 and 2020 but couldn’t get enough information to identify the source of the pathogen at that time. The investigation was reopened in November 2021 when four new patients who had isolates that matched the outbreak strain were reported to the government.

Dole collected samples from their facilities and equipment and found Listeria bacteria on machines that were used to harvest iceberg lettuce. Whole genome sequencing conducted on those samples by the FDA found the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. Investigators in Michigan found the outbreak strain in a Marketside brand package of shredded iceberg lettuce that was produced by Dole.

Recalls Issued for Dole Bagged Salads

There are two fairly complicated recalls issued in association with this outbreak. The first recall, issued in December 2021, included salads processed at the two facilities that packaged the contaminated salads. The recall included brand names such as Ahold, Dole, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Natures Promise, and Simply Nature. The recalled salad items include Baby Arugula, Spring Mix, Classic Iceberg,  Romaine Salad, Garden Salad, Coleslaw, Caesar, and Italian Blend, among others.

The second recall was issued in February 2022, and included salads that were made with iceberg lettuce harvested using the machines that tested positive for Listeria. Two more brand names were included in that recall: HEB and President’s Choice.

The product lot codes on these recalled salads begin with the letters B, N, W, or Y. The best if used by dates range from 11/30/21 to 01/09/22. Please check to see if you have any of these products in your fridge. If you do, throw them away, then clean your refrigerator thoroughly.

Listeriosis Symptoms

Symptoms of listeriosis can take up to 70 days to appear, so it’s possible that this outbreak can grow. Many people may be sickened by this pathogen, but those who suffer the most complications include the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone with a chronic illness or compromised immune system. Classic symptoms include a stiff neck, high fever, and severe headache. Listeria outbreaks usually have high hospitalization rates.

If you have eaten any of these salads and have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this outbreak.

Food Poisoning Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Listeria monocytogenes infection after eating recalled Dole, Marketside, Kroger, Ahold, or other brands of these bagged salads, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores and food processors, and families in wrongful death cases.

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