Dole has announced that they will be temporarily suspending production at their Springfield, Ohio facility after it was connected to an ongoing Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. Routine testing done by the Ohio Department of Agriculture revealed that samples taken from Dole brand Field Greens tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. The strain of Listeria found in the Dole salad was then put through a process called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). This process gives scientists a DNA “fingerprint” that is unique to that strain of pathogen. These “fingerprints” can be matched in the CDC database in order to identify outbreaks and their sources. Listeria found in Dole salads was similar to strains found in a Listeria outbreak that had been under investigation since September 2015. Dole was notified of the connection, and they decided to cease production at the facility on January 21st.
Listeria monocytogenes infections, referred to as Listeriosis, can be very serious. Listeriosis usually occurs after eating food contaminated with the bacteria. Symptoms will generally appear between 3 and 70 days after infection. Symptoms of Listeria poisoning include fever, nausea, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, and muscle aches. Children, the elderly, those with HIV/AIDS, and pregnant women are at a greater risk of infection. If you or a loved one ate recalled Dole salad and begins to show the symptoms of Listeriosis, contact a medical professional.