The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to Dole Food Co. and PC Organics packaged salad products produced from a U.S. processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.
Currently, there are 11 cases in five Canadian provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (7), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between May 2015 and early January 2016.
Some of the individuals who became ill have reported eating packaged salads. It is suspected that these salads were produced at the Dole facility in Ohio. The majority of Canadians cases, 55 percent, are female. The average age of victims is 79. All cases have required hospitalization. Three infected people have died, however it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the deaths.
On Jan. 22, CFIA issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recall to Dole and PC Organics packaged salad products under various product names that were distributed in eastern provinces. The Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians not to consume packaged salad products that have been processed at the Dole facility in Springfield, Ohio. This includes a variety of Dole and PC Organics brand items. These products can be identified by letter the “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package. For a full list of products, please refer to the CFIA recall notice.
In the United States, fifteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from eight states since July 5, 2015. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (5), and Pennsylvania (1).
Whole genome sequencing has been performed on clinical isolates from all ill people in the United States and has shown that the isolates are highly related genetically. Listeria specimens were collected from ill people between July 5, 2015, and Jan. 3. Ill people range in age from 3 years to 83, and the median age is 64. Seventy-three percent of the victims have been female. All 15 were hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis.
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