According to a series of reports, a listeria outbreak has recently impacted several states including New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New York.
While the outbreak is limited to those states, it’s important that consumers elsewhere stay alert. Like with Chipotle restaurants, outbreaks often spread to other states even though they had been initially identified in a limited area.
The reports show that in the states where the outbreak was identified, at least one person was killed and 11 ever hospitalized.
Listeria monocytogenes is the reason behind the severe illnesses. According to multiple news reports, the 12 people who fell ill after being exposed to the contaminated food items had to be taken to the hospital. At least one pregnant woman was part of the infected.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Listeria is hard to track. Because the foodborne illness has an incubation period of 3 to 70 days and the bacteria may survive colder temperatures in a fridge, contaminated consumers may not know they have been exposed.
Out of the 12 people who were hospitalized, five claimed to have consumed packaged salad in the month before they were sickened. Two people in particular claimed to have eaten Dole brand of salad. The first illness was reported on July 5, 2015. Federal health officials started investigating in September.
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture, its investigators found listeria bacteria in samples of Dole salad. Samples tested were sold as “Field Greens” packaged salads.
The company issued a statement to ABC News claiming that the salad has been withdrawn from stores after the Listeria tests came out positive. While the company claims that the campaign was initiated out of abundance of caution, the CDC is advising consumers and restaurants to check their salads for the potentially contaminated products.
Products that may have been contaminated were sold under the Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice brands. All packages come with the letter A, which can be found at the beginning of the manufacturing code, which is part of the package.
Those who are at greater danger are young children, the elderly, people with weak or compromised immune systems, or pregnant women. Consumers who are exposed to the organism may experience fever, headaches, muscle aches, stiff neck, loss of balance, and confusion.
Each year, 1,600 people fall ill after being exposed to Listeria. At least 260 die as a result.
For more information, follow this link.