This article serves to inform and report a shocking issue concerning one common kind of salads and the outbreak of listeria. Namely, this infection originated from Dole salads, produced in Springfield, Ohio, and ended with a warning by the CDC on January 22nd, 2016 against them.
Listeria is, in fact, a foodborne bacterial disease that can have a detrimental effect on pregnant ladies and people with weakened immune systems.
Its occurrence can be an outcome of raw meat, unpasteurized dairy products, and unwashed products.
Listeria bacteria can endure refrigeration and freezing. It can be either fought by the immune system itself, or it can be cured by an antibiotics treatment. Yet, its outbreak might trigger dangerous issues, including:
- Inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain (meningitis).
- Septicemia- A general infection of the blood.
In the case it gets spread to the nervous system, it can provoke:
- Changes in alertness and confusion
- Stiff neck
If you experience muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea or fever, you need to consult your doctor.
According to the CDC, 1,600 individuals get sick and 260 people die due to listeria infections annually in the U.S. The last statistically important listeria outbreak was noted in 2012.
Beginning in September 2015, CDC has started a cooperation with the FDA and public health officials in order to inspect the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis) that occurred in a number of states. This involved 6 states Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Indiana, and New York city.
Patients were aged from 3 to 83 and included a pregnant woman. This ended with 1 person from Michigan dead of listeriosis, and 12 hospitalized.
Apart from Dole salads, the listeria outbreak was reported to have involved other brands too, including:
- The Little Salad Bar
- Fresh Selections
- President’s Choice Organic
- Simple Truth
This facility’s products are sold in the following states:
- South Carolina
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- New York city
By now, there is no proof that Dole packaged salads at other processing facilities across the United States are related to disease.
Yet, it was not just the U.S. that was affected by this problem. Namely, the listeria outbreak was also developed on the north and involved products in Canadian grocery stores. These products might be recognized by the code which begins with the letter A.
The federal recall of the CFIA applies to 48 type of the Dole pre-packaged chopped salads, as well as salad blends and kits, and 9 different types of PC Organics brand leafy greens.
Fortunately, there is no report stating that the bacteria have affected Canadians so far.
Due to these issues, on Friday, January 22nd, Dole Fresh Vegetables notified the FDA that the processing center in Springfield would briefly stop the operations. Furthermore, they also voluntarily withdrew their products processed there, from the market.
However, if you have bought some of the affected products, you should follow these standards from the CDC:
In order to avoid their consumption by other people or animals, you should throw the salad in a closed plastic bag in a sealed dustbin. Using soap and warm water, wash the drawer of your refrigerator, where you used to keep these products.
Also, thoroughly clean all the cutting boards, utensils, and surfaces you use to serve or store salads in your dishwasher or using a soap, hot water, and a sanitizer. You can also use the mix of vinegar and hot water for the same purpose. Keep in mind that you must wash your hands also afterward, using a soap and warm water.
You need to visit your doctor if you experience any of the noted symptoms. Additionally, in order to prevent health problems and contamination, you need to follow the recommendations of the FDA.
To keep your kitchen clean:
- After preparing raw foods, you need to wash all cutting boards, knives, counter tops you have used, along with your hands.
- You should keep the fridge at 40 ° F or lower and the freezer 0 ° F or lower, in order to prevent the development of Listeria monocytogenes in the refrigerated foods.
- You must clean all spills in the fridge, from raw meat, raw poultry, hot dogs, and lunch meat packages.
- Weekly, use a soap and hot water and clean the shelves and the inside walls of the refrigerator.
- Moreover, before you eat or prepare them, you need to rinse all raw foods, even the ones that will be peeled, under running water.
- Use a clean brush to scrub firm products like cucumbers or melons.
- Use a paper towel or a clean cloth to dry the foods after washing.
- Also, you need to separate vegetables, and cooked foods from raw meats and poultry.
Other Sources Included: