USA – Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Dole Packaged Salad (December 2021)

FDA

The FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections potentially linked to Dole packaged leafy greens. According to the CDC, as of December 22, 2021, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 13 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 16, 2014 to October 17, 2021 (one case occurred in 2014 and the remaining cases occurred between 2018 and 2021).

CDC investigated this outbreak in 2019 and 2020 but was unable to gather enough data to identify the source in the past. CDC reopened the investigation in November 2021 when four new illnesses were reported since the end of August.

In October 2021, as a part of routine retail sampling, the Georgia Department of Agriculture collected a product sample of prepackaged salad mix from a grocery store for testing. The sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. In response to the sample results, Dole initiated a recall of packaged garden salads in October 2021. These products are now past their “Best if Used By” dates. The positive sample was later sent for whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis; and in December 2021, WGS analysis was completed. The results show that the Listeria monocytogenes in the product sample was a match to the outbreak strain. FDA is conducting an inspection at the facility that produced the product that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also recently initiated retail sampling of Dole products in their state as part of this investigation. One product containing lettuce from the Dole facility in Yuma, AZ, tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. WGS analysis showed that the Listeria monocytogenes in the product sample is also a match to the outbreak strain.

In response to the sample analyses and the ongoing outbreak investigation, Dole has agreed to voluntarily suspend operations at both the Bessemer City, NC, facility and Yuma, AZ, facility and has voluntarily recalled all products and brands from those facilities. Those products have production lot codes beginning with either the letter “N” or “Y” in the upper right-hand corner of the package and Best if Used By dates from November 30, 2021 to January 8, 2022.

This recall does not include whole head packaged lettuce. A full list of recalled products is available on FDA’s website.

This investigation is ongoing, and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers, should not eat, sell, or serve recalled Dole packaged salads. A full list of recalled products is available on FDA’s website.

FDA recommends that anyone who received recalled products use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have come in contact with these products to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Listeria can survive at refrigeration temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.

Recall Information

In response to the sample analyses and the ongoing outbreak investigation, Dole has agreed to voluntarily suspend operations at both the Bessemer City, NC, facility and Yuma, AZ, facility and has voluntarily recalled all products and brands from those facilities. Those products have production lot codes beginning with either the letter “N” or “Y” in the upper right-hand corner of the package and Best if Used By dates from November 30, 2021 to January 8, 2022.

This recall does not include whole head packaged lettuce.

The following images are of example labels from recalled products highlighting where to find product codes. View a full list of recalled products

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes from Dole Packaged Salad - Sample Product Codes (December 22, 2021)

Map of U.S. Distribution of Recalled Packaged Salad

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes from Dole Packaged Salad - Map of U.S. Distribution of Recalled Packaged Salas (December 22, 2021)

Case Count Map Provided by CDC

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes from Dole Packaged Salad - CDC Case Count Map (December 22, 2021)

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 16
Hospitalizations: 12
Deaths: 2
Last Illness Onset: October 17, 2021
States with Cases: IA, ID, MD, MI, MN, NC, NV, OH, OR, PA, TX, UT, WI
Product Distribution*: AL, AZ, CT, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MS, NC, ND, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI

*Distribution has been confirmed for states listed, but product could have been distributed further, reaching additional states

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s