Towards the end of April, Dole announced that they were resuming production at their Springfield, Ohio facility. The company did not disclose what was done to the facility to make it clean, as well as what methods they plan to implement to prevent further outbreaks. The facility was closed after Dole became involved in a large outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes. The outbreak began in July of 2015, and ended in late January, 2016. Over 30 people were sickened in the United States and Canada. In the United States, 19 people were sickened across 9 states, and there was one reported death. In Canada, there were 14 people sickened in 5 different provinces. Three deaths were reported in Canada, but in each case it is unknown whether or not Listeria was the cause of death.
However, even though the outbreak is over and the facility is once again producing salad products, Dole finds itself with another issue. The Department of Justice recently announced that it was opening its own investigation into the Listeria outbreak. The federal investigation follows news that Dole officials may have known about the Listeria contamination. FDA inspection reports indicate that Listeria was found at the Springfield facility as early as July 2014. FDA inspections found Listeria at the Springfield facility 5 separate times in 2014 and 3 times in 2015. In spite of these findings, Dole did not stop production at the facility until January of 2016, when the outbreak was first linked to the company. Inspections found as many as 16 violations that could help the growth of Listeria.