Last summer, cases of particular strain of Listeria started popping up in six states in the Northeast and Midwest U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says since July 2015, 12 people have been sickened and one person from Michigan has died in this outbreak. And the agency recently confirmed that five of the people who got sick reported eating packaged salad. Two of them specified that they ate Dole brand packaged salad.
Why are investigators only connecting the dots between the outbreak and its source?
Well, it wasn't until last week that DNA "fingerprinting" tests on a bag of salad greens packaged at a Dole facility in Springfield, Ohio conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture came back. The lab tests "showed that the Listeria isolate from the packaged salad was highly related genetically to isolates from ill people," according to a CDC release.
Dole Fresh Vegetables told the Food and Drug Administration on Friday it was temporarily suspending operations at the Springfield processing facility. The company also voluntarily withdrew from the market all of its Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at that location. (They include Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President's Choice Organics brands.)