(CN) – With its salads linked to a multistate listeria outbreak that caused at least one death, Dole Fresh Vegetables said Friday it is voluntarily withdrawing from the market all packaged salads processed at its Springfield, Ohio, production facility, in conjunction with a temporary suspension of operations there.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention noted that it has been investigating the multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis) since September 2015.
Six states have reported 12 people infected with the listeria outbreak strain since July 5, 2015.
The 12 hospitalizations included one pregnant woman and one person from Michigan who died of listeriosis.
With the CDC tracing the strain to packaged salads produced at a Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio, Dole announced a temporary shutdown of this site Friday, plus a total withdrawal of any salads produced there.
In addition to Dole-branded salads, the withdrawal also effects other packaged salads from the same facility sold under names like Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President’s Choice.
All five of the ill people who were asked about packaged salad reported eating packaged salad in the month before becoming ill, the CDC said.
It noted that both people who specified a brand of packaged salad reported eating various varieties of Dole-brand packaged salads.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture isolated listeria in a Dole-brand Field Greens salad collected from a retail location and produced at Dole’s site in Springfield.
Laboratory tests showed just this month that the listeria isolate from the packaged salad was highly related genetically to isolates from ill people, according to statement from the CDC.
Dole told the CDC on Thursday that it had stopped all production at the processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.
Packaged salads subject to the withdrawal include manufacturing code on the upper right-hand corner of the bag that begins with the letter A.
No additional Dole facilities are affected, nor does the withdrawal affect other Dole products, including fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and packaged salads from Dole’s other processing facilities.
Unaffected product codes begin with the letters B and N.
Dole named 23 states affected by the withdrawal: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec were affected as well.
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