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FDA confirms Listeria in Dole packaged salad

Federal officials say they have confirmed Listeria monocytogenes in a packaged salad produced at the Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. plant in Springfield, Ohio. Dole recalled all products under multiple brands because state tests linked an ongoing seven-month outbreak to leafy greens from the facility.

The Food and Drug Administration completed its analysis of the salad Thursday and released the results late yesterday.

Dole Food Co.

Fifteen people across eight U.S. states had been confirmed in the outbreak as of Wednesday. The most recent case was diagnosed Jan. 3, according to a Thursday update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All have required hospitalization and one has died.

In Canada, public health officials report seven people across five provinces have been infected. One person died, but it has not ye been confirmed that Listeriosis was the cause.

“Laboratory tests performed on clinical isolates from ill people in Canada showed that the isolates are highly related genetically to Listeria isolates from ill people in the United States,” the CDC reports.

On Tuesday, Dole Food Co. of Westlake Village, Calif., posted a statement indicating its “voluntary withdrawal” a week earlier of all products from its Springfield facility amounted to a recall.

“Voluntary recall is a specific term used by the Food and Drug Administration. While our actions under a voluntary recall as compared to the previously reported voluntary withdrawal remain the same, we have updated our communication terminology to reference a ‘recall,’ ” according to the Dole company statement.

“We have done this with the aim of using terminology that may be more familiar to consumers.”

The federal definition of “recall” indicates a company knows consuming a product could cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.” The term “withdrawal” indicates “a minor violation that would not be subject to legal action by the FDA or which involves no violation.”

Dole reports all retailers across 23 states and three Canadian provinces that received products from the Springfield, Ohio, facility had been contacted as of Jan. 27.

Health officials did not link the Springfield facility to the outbreak — which dates back to at least July 2015 and is ongoing — until earlier this month when a lab test of a packaged salad collected in Ohio returned a positive test result for Listeria monocytogenes. That Listeria strain matched samples uploaded from outbreak victims to federal disease databases.

The recalled salads include a variety of mixes of leafy greens and other freshcut vegetables. They are packaged under the brands:

  • Dole
  • Fresh Selections
  • Simple Truth
  • Marketside
  • The Little Salad Bar
  • President’s Choice Organics

Dole Field Greens

Types of salad mixes and leafy greens included in the recall are:

  • American salads
  • arugula salads
  • Asian salads
  • bacon and bleu cheese salads
  • BBQ ranch salads
  • Caesar salads
  • chipotle and cheddar salads
  • coleslaw
  • field green salads
  • garden salads
  • iceberg salads
  • Italian blend salads
  • kales salads
  • lettuce salads
  • Mediterranean salads
  • romaine salads
  • sesame ginger salads
  • Southwest salads
  • spinach salads
  • spring mix salads
  • spinach salads
  • sunflower salads
  • vegetable blend salads

According to Dole’s recall notice, it distributed the salads to retailers in these U.S. states and Canadian provinces:

  • 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

However, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a food recall warning for products made at the Springfield plant and reports the recalled salads have also been shipped to these provinces in Canada:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

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