The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) have announced that cases of listeriosis in both countries are linked to packaged salads produced at a Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. facility in Springfield, Ohio.
In the USA, twelve cases of infection with very closely related strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported in six states since 5 July, 2015, while a further seven cases have been reported in five Canadian provinces. All the cases have been hospitalised and two deaths have been reported – one in the USA and one in Canada.
Investigations into the outbreaks have produced epidemiological and laboratory evidence for a link with various brands of packaged salads produced at the Dole facility in Springfield. Listeria monocytogenes has been isolated from a routine retail sample of Dole brand Field Greens from the Ohio facility and genetic testing has confirmed that this isolate is closely related to the outbreak strain.
On 22 January, Dole Fresh Vegetables announced that it was temporarily suspending operations at the Springfield plant and voluntarily withdrawing all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads produced at that location from the market. Certain Dole- and PC Organics-branded salads and leafy greens have also been recalled in Canada.