Health officials in Canada have announced the conclusion of their investigation into the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to Dole salads. The investigation is ending because the source of the outbreak has been identified and the responsible products have been recalled. A total of 14 people were sickened in Canada because of the outbreak across 5 different provinces. Ontario was the hardest hit with 9 reported cases, and it is followed by Quebec with 2 reported cases. Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick have all reported 1 case each. All cases of illness were severe enough to require hospitalization. Prior to the recent ending of their investigation, the last update for the outbreak was on February 2, 2016.
The Listeria outbreak also affected the United States, where 18 people have been sickened and 1 person is dead. At this point, the CDC has not concluded their investigation. The latest CDC update was issued over a month ago, on February 25, 2016. The initial outbreak announcement and subsequent product recall took place in late January. Products involved in the recall were produced in only 1 of the Dole production facilities. Recalled salads can be identified by the letter “A” in the product code. All recalled products should be past its expiration date at this point.
Listeria monocytogenes bacteria causes one of the most severe foodborne illnesses. These illnesses are especially serious in pregnant women, children, the elderly, those with HIV/AIDS, and those with suppressed immune systems. The symptoms of Listeria poisoning can lay dormant for up to two months, but will generally include nausea, fever, headache, diarrhea, stiff neck, and muscle aches. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of Listeria poisoning, contact a medical professional.