June 17, 2024

Dole Packaged Salad- The Seven-Year Listeria Outbreak with a Plot Twist

On the day Patient 1 in the current Listeria outbreak linked to Dole packaged salads first experienced symptoms of illness, the iPhone 5 was the latest generation of Apple smartphones, Fifty Shades of Grey topped the New York Times Fiction Bestseller list, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon had just declared a state of emergency in Ferguson following the police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, and President Barack Obama was 12 days away from showing up to a press conference in a tan suit. It was August 16, 2014. In the seven years since, 15 more patients have been identified using whole genome sequencing, a method that identifies the genetic "fingerprint" of bacteria cultured from sick people and contaminated food. Two of the patients, who lived in Michigan and Wisconsin, … [Read more...]

Top 10 Food Poisoning Stories of 2016

These are the top 10 food stories of 2016. We chose them based on the impact they had on the food world and on the people who were sickened in outbreaks, and on how they changed how we look at our food supply. Many of these outbreaks were uncovered by the PulseNet system, a national database of food poisoning illnesses. All of these outbreaks serve as a reminder that everyone needs to be careful about the foods they eat, about where they eat foods, and the importance of thorough handwashing. And this list is a reminder that food companies need to be held accountable when the foods they produce make people sick. 10. Petting Zoo Outbreaks Petting zoo outbreaks became common a few years ago, when a huge outbreak sickened more than 100 people at the Cleveland County Fair in North … [Read more...]

Largest Multistate Outbreaks in 2016: Number 6 Dole Listeria

The multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to Dole packaged salads was the sixth largest in 2016. That outbreak sickened 19 people in the United States and caused one death in Michigan. All nineteen of the patients were hospitalized. In Canada, 14 people were sickened by these salad products. One of those patients died, although health officials have not determined if listeriosis was the cause of that death. In March 2016, Food Poisoning Bulletin was the first to report that Dole knew about Listeria monocytogenes contamination in the plant in Springfield, Ohio, years before this outbreak. We requested information from the FDA through a Freedom of Information Act Report. The company found the pathogenic bacteria in that plant in early 2014 and … [Read more...]

CDC: Dole was First Listeria Outbreak Linked to Leafy Greens

The Dole Listeria outbreak evaded initial detection because leafy greens had never before been linked to a Listeria outbreak and were not included on food history questionnaires used in interviews of the first case patients, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Information (CDC). The deadly outbreak, linked to bagged salads produced at Dole’s plant in Springfield, Ohio and sold under a variety of brand names ended in April after sickening 33 people in the U.S. and Canada.   In the U.S., 19 people were sickened and one of them died, according to the 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 … [Read more...]

Rep. DeLauro Demands Dole Answer for Listeria Outbreak

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released a statement last week demanding that Dole answer for continuing to distribute contaminated salads to store shelves for more than a year and a half after knowing a plant had a Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Dole's Springfield, Ohio plant had Listeria contamination in 2012 and 2014 and had recalled product at that time because of the potential for illness. No illnesses were reported as a result of those recalled products. But in January 2016, another recall of Dole salad products was issued. That recall was triggered by a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that sickened at least 33 people in the United States and Canada. Four people died, although the three who died in Canada may not have been killed by the pathogenic bacteria. Rep. … [Read more...]

Food Poisoning Bulletin Breaks Story: Dole Knew About Listeria

On March 10, 2016, Food Poisoning Bulletin broke the story that Dole knew about Listeria contamination in its plant long before this year's deadly listeriosis outbreak that was linked to its salad products. Carla Gillespie submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Food and Drug Administration in February 2016, asking for reports of inspections at Dole facilities, particularly the company's plant in Springfield, Ohio. We were the first news outlet to do so. Now the Justice Department is opening an investigation into that outbreak and how Dole handled it. In the documents we received, the company found Listeria in the plant in early 2014 and "infrequently" in the years before that. In fact, in 2014 Dole recalled many of its bagged salads for possible Listeria monocytogenes … [Read more...]

Justice Department Launches Investigation of Dole Listeria Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation into the Dole Listeria outbreak, according to a statement on the company's website. Listeria outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada were linked to salads produced at the company's plant in Springfield, Ohio. Thirty three people were sickened between July 2015 and January 2016, four people died. Years before the outbreak, Dole found Listeria at the plant, Food Poisoning Bulletin was first to report in March 2016 by obtaining records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The documents show the company found Listeria in the plant in early 2014 and “infrequently” before that. The records, dating back to a 2012 inspection triggered by a Listeria recall show FDA investigators noted the plant is not constructed in a … [Read more...]

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