The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued an update to the Listeria outbreak associated with prepackaged Dole salads. There are now 11 people sickened by Listeria in Canada. Five provinces have been affected by this outbreak, including Ontario with 7 cases, Newfoundland and Labrador with 1 case, New Brunswick with 1 case, Prince Edward Island with 1 case, and Quebec with 1 case. These cases began between May 2015 and January 2016. All 11 people affected have had to be hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported, although it is unclear if Listeria contributed to the deaths.
Dole salads have been the subject of investigation since the CDC announced that they had linked an ongoing Listeria outbreak to salads produced at one particular facility. In the United States, 15 people have been sickened across 8 states. Dole subsequently issued a recall for all prepackaged salads produced at its Springfield, Ohio facility. All affected salads are marked with a product code that begins with the letter “A”. Salads that are marked with product codes beginning with the letters “B” or “N” are not affected by the recall.
Listeria monocytogenes infections can be very serious and even deadly. Outbreaks are most frequently associated with processed deli meats and dairy products, although produce inked outbreaks are not uncommon. Listeria monocytogenes infections have the potential to produce symptoms just a few days after the pathogen enters the body. However, Listeria can lay dormant for a long time after infection, so symptoms may take up to 2 months to present. Once they appear, the common symptoms of Listeria poisoning include muscle aches, stiff neck, headache, diarrhea, nausea, and fever. Listeria infections are especially serious in children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with HIV/AIDS. If you or a loved one begin to show the symptoms of Listeria poisoning, it is important to contact a medical professional as soon as possible.