A listeria outbreak has caused the death of one person, and the hospitalization of another 11 people in a multi-state spread case that has reached Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

The outbreak was reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), remarking the fact that New York it’s the most affected with four people feeling ill of the food-borne disease. Among the 12 people reported, there was one pregnant women.

Five people were interviewed by the CDC, claiming that they had eaten packaged salad at some moment in the past month. Moreover, two noted that they had specifically eaten the Dole brand of packaged salad. The first case was reported on July 5, 2015. The CDC has been investigating them since September.

A supermarket shelve filled with Dole's packaged salad, the possible cause of the latest listeria outbreak. Photo: Boston CBS News
A supermarket shelve filled with Dole’s packaged salad, the possible cause of the latest listeria outbreak. Photo: Boston CBS News

The listeria bacteria was found in the packaged salad brand called “Field Greens”, as reported by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Also, Dole announced that they will withdraw all their salad products that were produced at their facility in Springfield, Ohio. Added to that, the CDC has also recommended both consumers and restaurants to throw out the salad immediately to keep the bacteria from spreading.

Dole officials told to ABC News that the withdrawal is a measure of caution, being done in collaboration with the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also, they reported that no other facilities are affected by the bacteria.

However, Dole isn’t the only brand that provides packaged salad to the market. These kind of products are sold by brands such as Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, The Little Salad Bar, President’s choice and Marketside. These products are identified by the letter “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code of the package.

Listeria, or Listeriosis

According to information found in the CDC website, Listeria –also called Listeriosis– is a infection normally caused by consuming food contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. It mostly affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults that have a weakened immune system. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to the disease, as it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and even the infection of the newborn baby.

Listeria is a food-borne disease difficult to track, due to its incubation period that oscillates between 3 and 70 days. Another characteristic is that the bacteria can survive cold temperatures in a fridge.

Among its symptoms, there are fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, confusion, headache and loss of balance. The CDC reported that among the estimate of 1,600 people that are infected by the bacteria annually in the U.S., approximately 260 people die of the food-borne disease.

Source: ABC News