Dole Foods said Friday it is withdrawing the sale of salads in three Canadian provinces and more than 20 U.S. states after an outbreak of Listeria linked to Dole packaged salads.
The American Centers for Disease Constrol (CDC) said in a statement that one person has died and 12 have been hospitalized by a multistate listeria outbreak tied to Dole’s packaged salads.
Meanwhile, the Public Health Agency of Canada is currently investigating after seven people were hospitalized in a Listeria outbreak affecting five provinces. In one case, a person has died but it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the death.
Dole Food Co. officials notified the CDC on Jan. 21 that they had stopped production at a processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.
“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,” the CDC said in a statement.
“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.”
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The CDC said it has been investigating a six-state outbreak since September 2015. The number of sickened people reported from each state includes: Indiana 1, Massachusetts 1, Michigan 4, New Jersey 1, New York 4, and Pennsylvania 1.
In Canada, three cases were detected in Ontario and one each in Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed with Global News there is a public warning for consumers related to Dole Packaged Salads.
“The CFIA is also aware that Dole is removing product from the retail level in Canada and the United States and they are advising consumers not to consume product from this facility,” said Maria Kubacki, Manager of Media Relations with CFIA.
The source of the outbreak has not been confirmed, however the agency is investigating prepackaged leafy greens, salad blends, and salad kits.
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be found in food, soil, plants, sewage and other places in nature. Eating food with Listeria can cause a serious disease, called listeriosis, and can occurr by eating meat, fish, dairy products, plants or vegetables contaminated with Listeria.
Those who are at highest risk of serious illness, according to Health Canada, include pregnant women and unborn or newborn children, adults 65 and over, and people with weakened immune systems.
High-risk individuals should follow safe food handling practices and avoid high risk food items such as uncooked meat and vegetables, unpasteurized milk and cheeses, ready-to-eat meats such as hot dogs and deli meats, and refrigerated smoked seafood and fish.
In 2015, Blue Bell Creameries, a leading U.S. ice cream brand, recalled all products after a listeria outbreak killed three people in four states linked to Blue Bell frozen treats.
*With files from the Associated Press