You might want to check on those prepackaged greens in your fridge. Health officials have finally traced the source of a listeria outbreak that hospitalized 12 and killed one to a Dole facility in Springfield, Ohio, according to NBC News. The 12 cases were reported starting last July, however an investigation only began in September 2015 and the source of the outbreak wasn’t known until this month, after a laboratory result from a packaged salad collected at the Ohio facility linked the illnesses to this location. [related]
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that Dole has stopped all production at the processing facility in Springfield and that it is withdrawing all packaged salads currently on the market that were produced at the facility. Affected salads can be identified by the letter ‘A’ at the beginning of the manufacturing code on the package.
U.S. representative Rosa DeLauro sees the incident as an example of why the United States needs a better food safety system, reports USA Today. DeLauro says, “Even though the investigation began last September, the source (of the outbreak) was not known until this month, leaving consumers across the country vulnerable to the outbreak. From the E. coli and norovirus outbreaks at Chipotle, to this latest incident with Dole, American consumers are being sickened, hospitalized and sometimes killed by deficiencies in our food safety system.”