If you’re buying any pre-packaged leafy salads this weekend, you should check the labels.
Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc., is recalling a long list of pre-packaged chopped salads, salad blends, salad kits, and leafy green products from the marketplace, due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
The distribution of these products includes Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario, and possibly Prince Edward Island, Quebec and nationally.
Some Loblaws PC Organics brand salads are also included in the recall, such as Baby Spinach, Field Greens Salad Mix, Baby Spinach, Baby Arugula, Baby Romaine, Baby Kale and Super Greens.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says consumers should not consume and distributors, retailers and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes should not sell or use the recalled products.
This recall applies to all products manufactured from the Dole facility located in Springfield, OH. The affected Dole products can be identified with a product code beginning with the letter "A" in the upper right-hand corner of the package.
The affected salad mixes, however, may also be repackaged or transformed into various in-store produced products, such as in-store made salads. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected products are advised to contact the retailer.
The recall was triggered by Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. The CFIA said it is conducting a food safety investigation, associated with a listeriosis outbreak, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated food recall warnings.
The full list of recalled products to date can be found online by clicking HERE.
This recall in Canada follows news out of the United States Friday of a death linked to packaged salads made at the same Dole Ohio processing facility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said one person died and about a dozen others were sickened from a listeria outbreak linked to packaged salads made at a Dole processing facility.
Those infected were spread in six states: Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
The CDC said the packaged salads made by Dole are the likely source of the outbreak. The salads are sold under several brands, including Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President's Choice. The manufacturing code on the package starts with the letter "A." The CDC says customers should not eat those bags.
Dole stopped all production at the Ohio facility on Thursday, the CDC said.
The CFIA says consumers should check to see if you have recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.
It advises that food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.
"Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, the infection can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth. In severe cases of illness, people may die."
CDC investigation results, advisory
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has issued an advisory on its website about the recall. It says an investigation into a multi-state listeria outbreak has been ongoing since late 2015.
Here's more from the CDC website:
• Since September 2015, CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis).
• Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness.
• Twelve people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from six states since July 5, 2015.
• Twelve people were hospitalized, and one person from Michigan died as a result of listeriosis. One illness was reported in a pregnant woman.
• Laboratory tests performed on clinical isolates from all 12 ill people showed that the isolates are highly related genetically.
• Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence available to date indicate that packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio and sold under various brand names are the likely source of this outbreak.
• Five (100%) of the five ill people who were asked about packaged salad reported eating packaged salad in the month before becoming ill. Two (100%) of two ill people who specified a brand of packaged salad reported eating various varieties of Dole brand packaged salads.
• The Ohio Department of Agriculture collected a Dole brand Field Greens packaged salad from a retail location and isolated Listeria. Laboratory tests showed that the Listeria isolate from the packaged salad was highly related genetically to isolates from ill people. This packaged salad was produced at the Springfield, Ohio Dole processing facility.
• Although the investigation began in September 2015, the source of these illnesses wasn't known until January 2016 when the laboratory result from the packaged salad collected in Ohio linked the illnesses to the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.
• On January 21, 2016, Dole reported to CDC that it had stopped all production at the processing facility in Springfield, Ohio. The company also reported that it is withdrawing all packaged salads currently on the market that were produced at this facility.
• CDC recommends that consumers do not eat, restaurants do not serve, and retailers do not sell packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio. These packaged salads were sold under various brand names.
• Brands of packaged salads include Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President's Choice.
• These packaged salads can be identified by the letter "A" at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package.
• At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that packaged salads produced at other Dole processing facilities in the United States are linked to illness.
• Updates will be provided when more information is available.