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

FDA

FDA, along with CDC and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to Dole packaged leafy greens by epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback data. According to the CDC, as of February 1, 2022, 17 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 December 30, 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 after reports of new illnesses.

FDA sent investigators to multiple Dole processing facilities to conduct on-site inspections while at the same time Dole initiated their own investigation. On December 22, 2021, Dole voluntarily recalled all products and brands from their Bessemer City, NC, and Yuma, AZ, facilities. On January 7, 2022, as a result of continued investigations, Dole issued a voluntary recall of additional products after Dole detected the presence of Listeria monocytogenes on equipment used in the harvesting of the raw iceberg lettuce also used in finished products processed in the Dole Springfield, OH, and Soledad, CA, facilities. These products were shipped throughout the United States and several provinces in Canada. FDA analyzed the positive sample collected by Dole from the harvesting equipment. Results from FDA’s WGS analysis showed that the strain of Listeria monocytogenes found on the harvesting equipment matches the strain causing illnesses in this outbreak.

In addition to this outbreak of listeriosis linked to packaged salads produced by Dole, FDA and CDC are currently investigating a separate Listeria outbreak linked to packaged salads produced by Fresh Express. These investigations are ongoing and additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Recommendation

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.

All recalled products are now past their “Best if Used By” dates of November 30, 2021 to January 9, 2022. If consumers have expired recalled Dole salads in their homes, they should throw them away. The initial list of recalled products and the second list of recalled products are available on FDA’s website.

 


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 Salad (February 1, 2022)

Case Count Map Provided by CDC

Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes from Dole Packaged Salad - CDC Case Count Map (January 31, 2022)

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 17
Hospitalizations: 13
Deaths: 2
Last illness onset: December 30, 2021
States with Cases: IA, ID, MD, MI, MN, NC, NV, OH, OR, PA, TX, UT, WI
Product Distribution*: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI,  IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WI

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

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