1 dead in listeria outbreak linked to packaged lettuce

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C (WPVI) -- Packaged salads produced at a Dole facility in Ohio are linked to one death in Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The CDC said 12 people in six states have been hospitalized in the outbreak since July after eating salads sold under the names Dole, and store brands such as Fresh Selections, Simple Truth (Kroger), Marketside (Walmart), The Little Salad Bar and President's Choice.

The CDC said it linked the outbreak to the Dole salads this month after Ohio agriculture officials found listeria in a bag bought at a retail location.

The strain of listeria was "highly related genetically" to the listeria that had made people sick.

The CDC said Dole had stopped all production at the Springfield, Ohio, plant and is withdrawing packaged salads on the market that were produced there.

Consumers can identify the salads by the letter "A'' at the beginning of the manufacturing code on the packages.

The agency said that the illnesses were in Michigan, New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Those sickened ranged in age from three years old to 83 years old.

The CDC says anyone with one of the packages should throw it away in a closed plastic bag in a sealed trash can.

And wash the refrigerator drawer or shelf it was stored in, preferably with hot water and soap.

Any cutting board or utensil which might have been used for the salad should also be washed in hot water and soap.

In a statement, Dole said its other facilities are not linked to the outbreak.

The company said it is withdrawing the salads from sale in more than 20 states and three Canadian provinces.

Listeria primarily affects the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women and newborn infants.

It can cause fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms and can be fatal. It also can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and serious illness or death in newborn babies.

This recall is the latest in a series of high-profile listeria outbreaks in 2015 and early 2016.

3 people died in a multi-year multi-state listeria outbreak linked to Blue Bell ice cream.

Some of the fatal cases were patients at hospitals in Kansas and Texas.

The ice cream recently returned to the market after prolonged plant shutdowns last year for investigation and cleaning.

Sabra hummus was also recalled in 2015 due to listeria.

For the complete CDC release on the salads, click here.