listeria outbreak linked to Dole salads

Erin Elizabeth, Founder, Health Nut News

One person has died and 12 have been hospitalized in a Listeria outbreak linked to Dole packaged salads.

Officials from the CDC announced today that they have been investigating the six-state outbreak since September 2015. So why the heck did they just announce this today? If this had been Chipotle it would have been out in 5 minutes, not 5 months!

People are being told not to eat the salads (listed below), but why wasn’t the public warned sooner if they knew about this outbreak? At least I’d never heard of it prior to today, nor had many of my readers.

The CDC announced that one person has died and about a dozen other people, from six states, were sickened from a listeria outbreak linked to Dole packaged salads. The salad, packaged in Springfield, OH caused illness in Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania- including a 3 year old and pregnant woman.


And this announcement came after the Public Health Agency of Canada reported that seven people were hospitalized in another listeria outbreak, this one affecting five provinces. There is believed to be a link with the outbreak here in the states but they are awaiting lab results to be sure.

Due to the outbreaks, Dole Food Co. has voluntarily withdrawn their packaged salads from 23 states and three Canadian provinces. According to the Food and Drug Administrations website, people and grocery stores with Dole packaged salads (with an ‘A’ code on it) should not eat the lettuce and instead discard it.

Dole has reported that production at the processing facility in Springfield has stopped (I should hope so).

From the article by Food Safety News:

“Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness. Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, muscle aches, and nausea, sometimes diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborn babies, older adults and adults with weakened immune systems. The incubation period is typically between two and three weeks, but can be as long as 70 days. People experiencing these symptoms and who may have consumed this packaged salad product should seek immediate medical attention.”


The salads can be identified by a letter ‘A’ at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package. Besides Dole brand, the pre-packaged salads were sold under other names, including:

  • Fresh Selections;
  • Simple Truth;
  • Marketside;
  • The Little Salad Bar; and
  • President’s Choice.

Tests have shown that the listeria from the packages of salad were “highly related genetically” to that of those who became ill. If you have any packaged salad or greens from the companies listed, please go now and check the manufacturing code. Dole itself distributed in the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Ontario
  • New Brunswick
  • Quebec

While purchasing these packaged salads is convenient and saves busy families time, you have to worry about who and what has previously touched your food. We love our local famers market and local stores, who purchase from farmers. Looks like there might be another reason to “shop small” if you can at all help it.

Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those affected by the listeria outbreak. Is it too much to hope that this won’t happen again? Or that they might tell us sooner?

Source: CBS NEWS and Food Safety News