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Listeria Blog

Surveillance & Analysis on Listeria News & Outbreaks

Listeria Recall: Lemongrass Basil Chicken Entrées

Winter Gardens Quality Foods, Inc., a New Oxford, Pa. establishment, is recalling approximately 42 pounds of Lemongrass Basil Chicken entrées that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The ready-to-eat, Lifestyle Foods Inc. brand of Lemongrass Basil Chicken product was produced on June 13 and June 14, 2016. The following product is subject to recall:

8.0-oz. (227g) individually wrapped entrée packages labeled “Lifestyle Foods Lemongrass Basil Chicken Entrée – Brown Rice in a Thai Style Sauce with Grilled Chicken and Green Beans.” The product has “Enjoy By” dates of June 28, 2016 and June 29, 2016.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-9815” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to distributors in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

The problem was discovered when Winter Gardens Quality Foods, Inc. notified FSIS that a component of the product had tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Listeria Outbreak tied to Frozen Vegetables

Since March 2016, CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis).

Eight people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria have been reported from three states since September 13, 2013. All eight people were hospitalized, including one from Maryland and one from Washington who died, although listeriosis was not considered to be a cause of death for either person.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence available at this time indicates that frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington and sold under various brand names are one likely source of illness in this outbreak.

Investigations are ongoing to determine if food sources used to manufacture CRF Frozen Foods products could explain some of the illnesses. On April 23, 2016, CRF Frozen Foods recalled 11 frozen vegetable products because they may be contaminated with Listeria. On May 2, 2016, CRF Frozen Foods expanded the initial recall to include all organic and traditional frozen vegetable and fruit products processed in its Pasco, Washington facility since May 1, 2014. Approximately 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands were recalled. Recalled items were sold nationwide and in Canada. A complete table of recalled products is on the FDA website.

CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, and restaurants and retailers do not serve or sell, recalled organic and traditional frozen vegetables and fruit products.

Listeria on Broccoli?

Alimentos Congelados, S.A. (Pinula) is voluntarily recalling 1,800 cases of Frozen Broccoli Cuts because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria Monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The Frozen Broccoli Cuts were distributed to stores in the following states: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

The affected Frozen Broccoli Cuts were distributed in poly bags under the following label and code:

  • WYLWOOD Fresh Frozen Broccoli Cuts, NET WT. 16 OZ (1 LB), UPC 5193300110, with bag code: A25335P and A15335P

The company has not received any complaints in relation to this product and is not aware of any illnesses associated with the product to date.

The recall was the result of retail package of Frozen Broccoli Cuts being tested by the State of Ohio Department of Agriculture. The Frozen Broccoli Cuts had tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes. The company has ceased distribution of Frozen Broccoli Cuts, and is fully cooperating with regulatory agencies.

Raw Milk Strikes Again

CDC and several states are investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis). Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness.

Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory officials indicate that raw milk produced by Miller’s Organic Farm in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania is the likely source of this outbreak. Raw milk is milk from cows or other animals that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. This raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.

In November 2015, samples of raw chocolate milk were collected from a raw milk conference held in Anaheim, California. The raw chocolate milk was produced by Miller’s Organic Farm. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isolated Listeria from the raw chocolate milk and conducted WGS testing on the isolate to get more genetic information about the bacteria. On January 29, 2016, FDA informed CDC that WGS determined that the Listeria bacteria from the raw chocolate milk was closely related genetically to Listeria bacteria from two people in two states who got sick in 2014, one from California and one from Florida.

The age of ill people from California and Florida ranged from 73 to 81 years. Both ill people were hospitalized, and the ill person from Florida died as a result of listeriosis.

Once the two illnesses were identified in late January, public health officials worked over several weeks to interview them or their family members about the foods they may have eaten and other exposures in the month before their illness started. Interviews were conducted with the ill person from California and family members for both ill people. It was reported that both ill people drank raw milk before they got sick. The family of the deceased person in Florida reported purchasing raw milk from Miller’s Organic Farm.

Raw milk and raw dairy products can pose severe health risks, including death, especially for people at higher risk for foodborne illness, including children younger than 5, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems. We recommend that people drink and eat only pasteurized dairy products. Learn more about the dangers of drinking raw milk at the CDC Food Safety and Raw Milk website.

Because Listeria was recently found in raw milk produced by Miller’s Organic Farm, we are concerned that contaminated raw milk and other raw dairy products from this company could still be on the market and make people sick.

Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania tied to Dole Lettuce Listeria Outbreak

dole_manufacturing_codeEighteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from nine states since July 5, 2015. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (2), New Jersey (1), New York (5), Ohio (2), and Pennsylvania (1).

Ill people range in age from 3 years to 83, and the median age is 66. Seventy-two percent of ill people are female. All 18 ill people were hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of Listeria. One of the illnesses reported was in a pregnant woman.

Currently, there are also 11 cases of Listeria in five Canadian provinces related to this outbreak. The number of ill people reported from each province is as follows: Ontario (7), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).

The majority of Canadians cases (55%) are female, with an average age of 79 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and three people have died.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio and sold under various brand names are the likely source of this outbreak.

Starbucks Recalls Breakfast Sandwiches Over Listeria Fears

Starbucks Coffee Co. has removed certain breakfast sandwiches from 250 locations because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

The sandwiches, made by Progressive Gourmet Inc., Wilmington, MA, may have been heated at Starbucks locations for immediate consumption or sold to consumers for consumption later, according to a recall notice on the Food and Drug Administration website.

The manufacturer recalled its 6-ounce sausage, egg, cheddar cheese English muffin sandwiches after its in-house testing procedures detected Listeria monocytogenes on a contact surface in its production plant.

The recalled sandwiches are individually packed clear plastic packages and can be identified with the “best before” date of Aug. 7, 2016.

Progressive Gourmet distributed the sandwiches to warehouses in Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and Louisiana, but were only available at 250 Starbucks stores in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma on March 3 and 4.

As of March 4, no illnesses had been reported in connection with these sandwiches, but symptoms of infections from Listeria monocytogenes can take up to 70 days to develop.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, but Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Progressive Gourmet is working closely with FDA and the Massachusetts Department of Health and continues to investigate the source of the problem according to the recall notice.

Consumers who bought the recalled sandwiches are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-224-7630 Mondays-Fridays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.

Dole Lettuce – A History of Pathogens

In the United Sates, eighteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from nine states since July 5, 2015. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (2), New Jersey (1), New York (5), Ohio (2), and Pennsylvania (1). Whole genome sequencing has been performed on clinical isolates from all ill people and has shown that the isolates are highly related genetically. Listeria specimens were collected from ill people between July 5, 2015 and January 31, 2016. Ill people range in age from 3 years to 83, and the median age is 66. Seventy-two percent of ill people are female. All 18 (100%) ill people were hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis. One of the illnesses reported was in a pregnant woman.

In Canada, there are currently 11 cases of Listeria in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (7), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between May 2015 and early January 2016. Some of the individuals who became ill have reported eating packaged salads. It is suspected that these salads were produced at the Dole facility in Ohio. The majority of Canadians cases (55%) are female, with an average age of 79 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and three people have died.

On January 27, 2016, Dole voluntarily recalled all salad mixes produced in the Springfield, Ohio processing facility. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any products produced at other Dole processing facilities in the United States are linked to illness. The type of salad mixes produced at this facility was packaged in bags and plastic clamshell containers and can be identified by the letter “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code on the package.

Prior Dole Outbreaks Linked to Lettuce and Other Leafy Greens

October 13, 2015 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled a limited number of cases of bagged salad. The product recalled was Dole Spinach coded A27409B & A27409A, with an Enjoy By date of October 15 and UPC 7143000976 due to a possible health risk from Salmonella. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The product code and Enjoy By date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in 13 U.S. states (Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin). This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Dole Spinach salad yielded a positive result for Salmonella in a random sample test conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development; Laboratory Division.

March 13, 2014 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled a limited number of cases of bagged salad. The products being recalled are Dole Italian Blend (UPC 7143000819), Fresh Selections Italian Style Blend (UPC 1111091045), Little Salad Bar Italian Salad (UPC 4149811014) and Marketside Italian Style Salad (UPC 8113102780) coded A058201A or B, with Use-by date of March 12, 2014 due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The product code and Use-by date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in 15 U.S. states (Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia) and 3 Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Ontario & Quebec). No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. This precautionary recall notification is being issued due one sample of Dole Italian salad which yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

August 22, 2012 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled 1,039 cases of bagged salad. The product being recalled was 10 oz. Dole Italian Blend coded 0049N2202008, with a Use-By date of August 20 and UPC 7143000819 due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The product code and Use-By date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in eight U.S. states (Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi and Virginia). No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. This recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Dole Italian Blend salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

June 22, 2012 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled 1,077 cases of bagged salads. The products being recalled were Kroger Fresh Selections Greener Supreme coded N158 211B 1613 KR04 with Use-by date of June 19 and UPC 11110 91039, Kroger Fresh Selections Leafy Romaine coded N158 111B KR11 with Use-by date of June 19 and UPC 11110 91046 and WalMart Marketside Leafy Romaine coded N158111B with Use-by date of June19 and UPC code 81131 02781 due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. The Product Code and Use-by date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in six U.S. states (Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia). This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Marketside Leafy Romaine salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the State of North Carolina.

April 14, 2012 – Dole Fresh Vegetables voluntarily recalled 756 cases of DOLE® Seven Lettuces salad with Use-by Date of April 11, 2012, UPC code 71430 01057 and Product Codes 0577N089112A and 0577N089112B, due to a possible health risk from Salmonella. No illnesses had been reported in association with the recall. The Product Code and Use-by Date are in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in fifteen U.S. states (Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin). This precautionary recall notification is being issued due to an isolated instance in which a sample of Seven Lettuces salad yielded a positive result for Salmonella in a random sample test collected and conducted by the State of New York.

Sept. 17, 2007 – Dole Fresh Vegetables, a division of Dole Food Company, Inc., today announced that it voluntarily recalled all salad bearing the label “Dole Hearts Delight” sold in the U.S. and Canada with a “best if used by (BIUB)” date of September 19, 2007, and a production code of “A24924A” or “A24924B” stamped on the package.  The “best if use by (BIUB)” code date can be located in the upper right hand corner of the front of the bag.  The salad was sold in plastic bags of 227 grams in Canada and one-half pound in the U.S., with UPC code 071430-01038. To date, Dole has received no reports that anyone has become sick from eating these products.  The recall is occurring because a sample in a grocery store in Canada was found through random screening to contain E. coli O157:H7.

2006 Spinach E. coli Outbreak – 205 Sick with 5 Death: Official word of the spinach outbreak broke with the FDA’s announcement, on September 14, 2006, that a number of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses across the country “may be associated with the consumption of produce.” “Preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests,” the statement continued, “that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak.” By the date of the announcement, fifty cases had been reported to the CDC, including eight cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and one death. States reporting illness included Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. The much-publicized outbreak grew substantially over the next several days. By September 15, the FDA had confirmed 94 cases of illness, including fourteen cases of HUS and, sadly, one death. Recognizing the lethality of the developing outbreak, the FDA’s September 15 release warned people should “not eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach containing products.” Press Releases over the ensuing days announced steady growth in the number of people sickened, hospitalized, and with HUS as a result of the outbreak—109 cases from nineteen states by September 17, and 131 cases from twenty-one states just two days later. The latter statistic included 66 hospitalizations and twenty cases of HUS. Meanwhile, the FDA and CDC, in conjunction with local and state health agencies from across the country, worked feverishly to figure out the brand names associated with illness. Early statistical analysis suggested that many brands were implicated, but the spinach sold under the several brand names had all come from the Natural Selection Foods processing center in San Juan Batista, California. Accordingly, Natural Selection recalled all of its spinach products with “use by” dates from August 17 to October 1, 2006.   The recall, of course, included Dole brand spinach. But further data and study ultimately narrowed the possible sources of the outbreak down to one brand of packaged greens: Dole. Though epidemiological evidence had already strongly linked Dole to the outbreak, the FDA found the proverbial “smoking gun” on September 20. The bag of Dole baby spinach had been purchased and consumed by an Albuquerque, New Mexico woman, and testing by the New Mexico State Health Department had confirmed that the product was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bearing the same genetic marker as the outbreak strain. The FDA announced the critical finding on September 21, 2006—also disclosing the “best by” date on the positive Dole bag of August 30—thereby giving a worried public a bit more information on what spinach products to eat, if any, and what to avoid. By the date of the FDA’s September 21 announcement, the number of confirmed cases had swelled to 157 people from twenty-three states. Ultimately, the FDA confirmed 204 outbreak-related cases, with 102 hospitalizations, thirty-one cases of HUS, and three deaths, though the actual number of people affected by the outbreak was certainly much larger. In addition to the elderly Wisconsin resident, the FDA stated that the outbreak had claimed the lives of two-year-old Kyle Algood, from Chubbuck, Idaho, and also 81-year-old Ruby Trautz, from Bellevue, Nebraska. The tragedy of this outbreak can hardly be overstated. Epidemiological and laboratory evidence, which had already proved the link to Natural Selection and Dole, soon revealed that the contaminated spinach had been grown at Paicines Ranch in San Benito County, California. More specifically, investigators had traced the source of the contaminated spinach to one field on the ranch that had been leased by Mission Organics. Once identified as the likely source for the outbreak, Mission Organics became host to health officials looking for the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. State and federal investigators took hundreds of environmental samples and swabs from the vicinity of the implicated spinach field, which was fifty acres in size, including from a nearby cattle pasture and water source. Investigators also sampled the intestinal lining of feral pigs that had been killed as part of the investigation. Samples from a variety of sources, including the pigs, the water, and cattle feces, tested positive for the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 that had now been isolated in over 205 people nationally. Finally, the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 has been isolated in at least thirteen separate bags of Dole baby spinach. There were five deaths. Once the investigation was completed, a final report on the outbreak was prepared by the California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT), a team comprised of members from the FDA and the California Department of Health Services. The Final Report is replete with facts damning of all those involved in the growing, harvesting, processing, distribution, and sale of the implicated spinach products. For example, speaking of the NSF processing facility, it states: During the production week from August 14-19, 2006, the NSF South facility had the highest weekly production volume of the month. Between August 13-20, 2006 production email exchanges revealed a string of personnel shortages, including nine absent employees on Sunday, August 13, the date of the weekly extended sanitation shift. Personnel records reveal that a number of absences were due to illness or illness in the family…NSF did not conduct ATP testing on a daily basis as required by the firm’s SOP. No ATP testing was conducted from August 15-25, 2006. One ATP test collected from a scale vibrator failed on August 10, 2006, and no retest was documented. The Final Report also faulted with NSF’s procedures for monitoring the quality of processing-water, its record-keeping, and its inability to demonstrate that harvesting bins were being washed to prevent cross-contamination. As for the Mission Organics growing operation, the findings were even more disturbing. The Final Report found that the land on the ranch where the spinach was grown “was primarily utilized for cattle grazing.” Moreover: Investigators observed evidence of wild pigs in and around the cattle pastures as well as in the row crop growing regions of the ranch….Potential environmental risk factors for E. coli O157:H7 contamination identified during this investigation included the presence of the wild pigs in and around spinach fields and the proximity of irrigation wells used for ready-to-eat produce to surface waterways exposed to feces from cattle and wildlife.

2005 Lettuce E. coli Outbreak – 32 Sick: On September 22, 2005 the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Public Health Laboratory (PHL) received an E. coli O157:H7 isolate for confirmatory testing and Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) subtyping. PFGE results were reported on September 26 and uploaded to PulseNet, a national database of PFGE patterns or “fingerprints” maintained at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The pattern derived from digestion with the restriction endonuclease Xba I was assigned Pattern number EXHX01.0238. The isolate was soon tested with a second enzyme, Bln I, and the resulting pattern was assigned pattern number EXHA26.1040. Prior to September 19, the Bln I pattern had not been posted on PulseNet. Isolates obtained from culture of stool submitted by two new ill patients were received at the MDH PHL on September 23, 2005 and subtyped. PFGE results showed that the two new isolates and the isolate received on September 22 were indistinguishable by two enzymes. By September 29, 2005 isolates obtained from seven more patients arrived at the MDH PHL for further analysis. Public health investigators recognized that an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was underway in Minnesota. While laboratory testing was performed, MDH epidemiologists conducted preliminary interviews with patients who were laboratory confirmed with E. coli O157:H7. On the morning of September 28 investigators had identified pre-packaged lettuce produced by Dole Food Company, Inc. as the likely vehicle of transmission for infection with E. coli O157:H7. A supplemental questionnaire focusing on the type and brand of lettuce consumed and where it was purchased, was developed and administered to case-patients previously interviewed and newly identified cases. On September 29 Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) staff collected a bag of Dole lettuce at the home of a case patient and began microbiologic testing for the presence of E. coli O157:H7. On September 30 the MDH issued a press release advising the public that 11 cases of E. coli O157:H7 had been identified in Minnesota residents who had eaten Dole lettuce purchased from at least four different stores in the Twin Cities area.  Persons with symptoms of E. coli were told to contact the MDH and their physician. Dr. Chris Braden at the Foodborne and Diarrheal Disease Branch at the CDC announced that no other states were reporting outbreak associated cases. Meanwhile MDA microbiologists continued to process lettuce specimens obtained from households with cases of confirmed E. coli O157:H7. On Monday, October 3 the agency reported that sample number M-05-2310, Lot Number B250215B received on September 30 had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. The isolate obtained from the sample was sent to the MDH for PFGE analysis. The resulting pattern was indistinguishable to the pattern identified in case-patients. A second specimen, M-05-2318, lot number unavailable, would also yield positive results. News of the positive lettuce specimen prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a nationwide health alert regarding Dole pre-packaged salads on October 2.  The FDA announcement reiterated warnings expressed in the MDH press release and further described the Dole products associated with illness, Classic Romaine, American Blend, and Greener Selection. Although cases had only been identified in Minnesota, the product was noted to have been distributed nationwide. It would not be long before cases of E. coli O157:H7 in Wisconsin and Oregon would be recognized. The Wisconsin case was a 12 year old female with E. coli O157:H7 who had a history of eating Dole pre-packaged lettuce. PFGE subtyping showed that her isolate was indistinguishable to the EXHX01.0238 pattern and one band different on the second enzyme pattern. Despite the one band difference, MDH molecular epidemiologists considered the girl to be part of the outbreak concluding that the difference was not enough to preclude the case from being considered outbreak related. The Oregon case was indisputably associated with consumption of Dole pre-packaged salad mix. A 60 year old Portland resident was hospitalized and laboratory confirmed with E. coli O157:H7 on September 21, 2005. The patient had experienced onset of symptoms on September 18, four days after purchasing and consuming Dole brand “Classic Romaine” salad mix. Michael Roberson, representative for Albertsons’, the grocery store of purchase, confirmed that the chain’s Portland area distributing center had received Dole Greener Selection and Dole Classic Romaine. A portion of the salad mix was still in the patient’s refrigerator. A photograph taken of the packaging documents that Ms. Scheetz purchased Dole salad mix with a “Best if Used By” date of 9/23/05, lot number was B250215B. PFGE subtyping showed that the Oregon isolate was indistinguishable by two enzymes to other ill Dole lettuce consumers in Minnesota. Aware of the potential severity of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, the FDA and the Food and Drug Branch at the California Department of Health Services initiated an investigation at the Dole processing plant. Preliminary information indicated that 22,321 cases of Dole pre-packaged lettuce with a “Best If Used By” date of 9/23/05 and a production code starting with “B250” were shipped from a single Dole processing facility in central California to 34 states in early September. Investigators estimated that since each case contained between 6 and 12 bags, approximately 244,866 bags of lettuce had made it to market. On October 11, 2005 the MDH counted 23 laboratory confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 and seven epidemiologically linked cases. Illness onset dates ranged from September 16 to September 30. Two cases had developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Oregon and Wisconsin reported one case each. Case control study data show a statistically significant association between illness and consuming Dole pre-packaged lettuce with a matched odds ratio of 6.8, 95% confidence interval, 1.4-31.9, and a p-value of 0.01. The California Department of Health Services continues to conduct a trace back investigation to farms implicated in earlier lettuce outbreaks. A final outbreak report and traceback summary has not been provided.  Eventually, a total of 32 persons from three states would be linked to the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Listeria

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to Dole and PC Organics packaged salad products produced from a US processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.

Currently, there are 11 cases of Listeria monocytogenes in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (7), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between May 2015 and early January 2016. Some of the individuals who became ill have reported eating packaged salads. It is suspected that these salads were produced at the Dole facility in Ohio. The majority of Canadians cases (55%) are female, with an average age of 79 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and three people have died, however it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the cause of these deaths.

On Friday, January 22, CFIA issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recall to Dole and PC Organics packaged salad products under various product names that were distributed in eastern provinces. The Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians not to consume packaged salad products that have been processed at the Dole facility in Springfield, Ohio. This includes a variety of Dole and PC Organics brand items. These products can be identified by letter the “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package. For a full list of products, please refer to the CFIA recall notice.

Fifteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from eight states since July 5, 2015. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (5), and Pennsylvania (1). Whole genome sequencing has been performed on clinical isolates from all ill people and has shown that the isolates are highly related genetically. Listeria specimens were collected from ill people between July 5, 2015 and January 3, 2016. Ill people range in age from 3 years to 83, and the median age is 64. Seventy-three percent of ill people are female. All 15 (100%) ill people were hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis. One of the illnesses reported was in a pregnant woman.

Listeria in Dole Lettuce in the US and Canada

Since September 2015, CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in several states and the FDA to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. Twelve people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from six states since July 5, 2015. Twelve people were hospitalized, and one person from Michigan died as a result of listeriosis. One illness was reported in a pregnant woman. Laboratory tests performed on clinical isolates from all 12 ill people showed that the isolates are highly related genetically.  Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania state impacted.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections in five provinces. To date, the source of this outbreak has not been confirmed. However prepackaged leafy greens, salad blends, and salad kits are food items being investigated. Currently, there are seven (7) cases of Listeria monocytogenes in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (3), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between September 2015 and early January 2016. The majority of cases (71%) are female, with an average age of 81 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and one person has died, however it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the cause of death.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence available to date indicate that packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio and sold under various brand names are the likely source of this outbreak. The Ohio Department of Agriculture collected a Dole brand Field Greens packaged salad from a retail location and isolated Listeria. Laboratory tests showed that the Listeria isolate from the packaged salad was highly related genetically to isolates from ill people. This packaged salad was produced at the Springfield, Ohio Dole processing facility.

Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., is temporarily suspending operations at its Springfield, Ohio production facility, and is voluntarily withdrawing from the market all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at that location (see the product list at http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/) Products subject to the voluntary withdrawal are identified with a product code beginning with the letter “A” in the upper right-hand corner of the package (see example below), and are sold in the following states and Canadian provinces noted below. This suspension and withdrawal is being performed voluntarily by Dole out of an abundance of caution, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control. See more about this withdrawal at www.cdc.gov/listeria/outbreaks/ No additional Dole facilities are affected. Other Dole products, including fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and packaged salads from Dole’s other processing facilities (with product codes beginning with the letters “B” or “N”), are not part of this voluntary withdrawal.

Seven with Listeria in Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections in five provinces. To date, the source of this outbreak has not been confirmed. However prepackaged leafy greens, salad blends, and salad kits are food items being investigated.

Currently, there are seven (7) cases of Listeria monocytogenes in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (3), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between September 2015 and early January 2016. The majority of cases (71%) are female, with an average age of 81 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and one person has died, however it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the cause of death.