One dead, 12 sick as Listeria outbreak traced to Dole food facility

Health officials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have traced an outbreak of Listeria to a Dole packaging facility in Springfield, Ohio.

The CDC reported that 12 people in total, from six states, had been hospitalized, and one person had died.

Although the outbreak dates from last summer, officials warned people to take no chances with suspect food.

The CDC said: “On January 21, 2016, Dole reported to CDC that it had stopped all production at the processing facility in Springfield, Ohio and is withdrawing all packaged salads currently on the market that were produced at this facility.”

Packaged salads produced at the facility, said the CDC, were responsible for the one death in Michigan.

Consumers have been advised to discard all bags of salad suspected of originating at the plant.

The packages can be picked out by looking at the manufacturing codes – those starting with letter “A” should be thrown away.

The packaged salads were sold under the company name Dole, plus other store brands including The Little Salad Bar, Fresh Selections, President’s Choice, Simple Truth (Kroger) and Marketside (Walmart).

The particular strain of listeria found was “highly related genetically” to the one that had made consumers sick.

Listeria, which can cause stomach ache, muscle pains and other gastrointestinal complications, mainly affects the elderly, very young or pregnant women.

The effects can be fatal, and exposure has also lead to miscarriage, stillbirths or other problems in newborn babies.

In this case, people were affected in the states of Michigan, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and ranged in age from 3 years to 83 years old.

Dole released a statement saying its other facilities had not been affected. Official figures report Listeria hospitalises some 1600 people every year, with around 260 fatalities.

Food often infected includes ice cream and cheese as well as fresh vegetables, as in this case.