Updated on April 5, 2022, with final case counts for the Dole salad Listeria outbreak according to the CDC’s outbreak investigation update.
A Listeria outbreak linked to Dole salads has ended after sickening 18 people in 13 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) final outbreak investigation update published on April 4, 2022. Sixteen people were hospitalized and three people died.
Dole Salad Listeria Recall
On December 22, 2021, Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc., of Monterey, CA issued a Listeria recall for all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at its Bessemer City, NC, and its Yuma, AZ production facilities. Production at both of those facilities was temporarily halted while they were sanitized.
The recall was issued after state health officials in Georgia and Michigan found Listeria in Dole-branded Garden Salad produced in the Bessemer City facility and shredded iceberg lettuce produced in the Yuma, AZ. The Listeria strain found in these samples was a genetic match to 16 Listeria illnesses reported since 2014.
Dole salads produced at these facilities have product lot codes beginning with either the letter “N” or the letter “Y” in the upper right-hand corner of the package. The recalled salads, with “Best if Used By” dates between November 30, 2021, and January 8, 2022, include mixed greens, garden salads, Caesar kits, and others, packaged in bags or clamshells.
On January 7, 2022, Dole issued an expansion of the Listeria recall to include Dole-branded and private label packaged salads containing iceberg lettuce that were processed at its facilities in Soledad, CA, and Springfield, OH, where salads linked to a Listeria outbreak in 2016 were packaged.
Salads produced by Dole and recalled in association with this Listeria outbreak were sold under the brand names Ahold, Dole, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature’s Promise, and Simply Nature. These salads were sold nationwide at stores including ALDI, Food Lion, Fresh Direct, Giant, Hannaford and Stop & Shop, Kroger, Lidl, Walmart, and Winn-Dixie.
2022 Dole Salad Listeria Outbreak
Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take as long as 70 days to develop. They include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, muscle stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths even if the mother only experiences mild symptoms.
This outbreak spanned seven-and-a-half years and included 18 patients who reported the onset of illness on dates ranging from August 16, 2014, to January 15, 2022. Prior to this investigation, which beagn in the fall of 2021, the CDC had tried twice before to solve this outbreak (once in 2019 and again in 2020) but wasn’t able to gather enough data to identify the source.
The patients in this outbreak ranged in age from 50 to 94 years old. Of the 16 patients with available information, 16 were hospitalized and three people died. The fatalities were reported from Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The number of illnesses reported from each state was: Idaho (1), Iowa (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (2), Nevada (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (3), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania, (1), Texas (2), Utah (1) and Wisconsin (1).
2016 Dole Salad Listeria Outbreak
In 2016, Dole’s bagged salad plant in Springfield, Ohio, was linked to an outbreak of listeriosis in the United States and Canada that sickened 33 people and four case-patients died, according to the CDC. The 19 U.S. cases were reported from the following states: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (2), New Jersey (1), New York (6), Ohio (2), and Pennsylvania (1).
Dole recalled all salad mixes produced at the plant, which was voluntarily shut down due to the outbreak. The salad brands included in the recall were Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. The letter “A” in the product code identifies Springfield as the facility where they were produced.
Dole Salad Listeria Lawsuit
Listeria, one of the deadliest foodborne pathogens, thrives in cold, wet places. Once it gets established in a conducive environment, it’s difficult to eradicate. But Listeria contamination in the food we eat is preventable. Working on behalf of past food poisoning victims, Listeria lawyers at our firm have recovered tens of millions of dollars for families devastated by listeriosis. Our lawyers have represented people harmed by the bacteria in every major Listeria outbreak for the past 15 years. We’ve been involved in some of the largest recoveries ever obtained.
If you or a loved one has been identified as a case-patient in a Dole Listeria outbreak, contact our firm about a lawsuit for compensation and justice. Understanding your legal rights and the basic framework of how we handle food poisoning lawsuits is a step toward making a fair, just, and comprehensive recovery. Federal law is very clear: the presence of a single Listeria organism in a food product constitutes adulteration.
Updated: This post was originally published on February 15, 2016, and updated on December 23, 2021, to include information about a new Listeria outbreak.
Updated: This post was updated on April 4, 2022, to include final outbreak information after the CDC declared an end to the outbreak.