This article will inform you regarding a certain type of salads and the great outbreak of listeria. This disease originated from Dole salads, produced in Springfield, Ohio, against which a warning was issued by the CDC on January 22nd, 2016.
What is listeria?
Listeria is a food-borne bacterial infection which can be extremely harmful for pregnant women and persons with weakened immune systems. It can appear due to unwashed products, raw meat, and unpasteurized dairy products.
It is highly resistant bacteria as it can endure refrigeration and freezing. However, the immune system can fight it off, or it can be cured by the use of antibiotics. Nevertheless, its outbreak may provoke dangerous issues, such as:
- Meningitis which is an inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain.
- Septicemia- A general infection of the blood.
If it spreads to the nervous system, it can trigger:
- Stiff neck
- Changes in alertness and confusion
You have to seek for a medical advice if you feel muscle pain, suffer from nausea, diarrhea or fever.
Namely, CDC states that 1,600 persons in U.S. get sick and 260 people die as a result of listeria infections yearly. In 2012, was the last major listeria outbreak according to the performed statistics.
CDC initiated an inspection in correlation with the FDA and public health officials regarding the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis) in a number of states in U.S., in September 2015. It actually involved 6 states including New Jersey, New York City, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. The patients were at age span of 3 to 83 years old, also including one pregnant woman. Unfortunately, 1 person from Michigan died of listeriosis, and 12 of them were hospitalized.
We already mentioned the Dole salads, but listeria outbreak was also reported to the following other brands, like:
- Fresh Selections
- The Little Salad Bar
- President’s Choice Organic
- Simple Truth
These products are sold in the states, here below:
- New York city
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Yet, up to now there is no proof that Dole packaged salads at other processing facilities across the U. S. were linked to the infection. The United States wasn’t the only country impacted by this disease; also the north of America, specifically Canada was affected by listeria which involved products in Canadian grocery stores. You can recognize these products by the code which begins with the letter A. Yet again, there is no official report stating that the bacteria impacted Canadians.
The federal recall of the CFIA applies to 48 types of the Dole pre-packaged chopped salads, likewise salad blends and kits and 9 different types of PC Organics brand leafy greens.
As a result of these issues, on Friday, January 22nd, Dole Fresh Vegetables notified the FDA that the processing center in Springfield would shortly cease its operations. Dole Fresh vegetables voluntarily withdrew their products from the market processed there.
Nonetheless, if by any chance you have already purchased some of the impacted products, you need to follow the CDC standards:
– Aside the fact that you will immediately toss away this product, you need to place it in a closed plastic bag in a sealed dustbin so that animals or other persons do not consume it.
-Wash the drawer of your refrigerator where you kept these products by using soap and warm water.
– Likewise, thoroughly clean all utensils, cutting boards, and used surfaces where you served or stored these salads. This also applies for the dishwasher. Clean them with soap, hot water, and a sanitizer. Mixture of vinegar and hot water can be used in the cleaning process. Bear in mind the fact that you ought to wash your hands after you have finished with the cleaning by using soap and warm water.
NOTE: Ask for a medical advice if you experience any of the noted symptoms. Moreover, in order to prevent health issues and contamination, you have to follow the recommendations of the FDA.
Keep your kitchen clean:
- When you finished with raw foods, you have to wash your hands and all cutting boards, knives, counter tops you have utilized.
- When refrigerated foods are concerned you need to maintain the fridge temperature at 40° F or lower, and the freezer at 0° F or lower, so that you protect refrigerated foods from the development of Listeria monocytogenes.
- Everything has to be cleaned in the refrigerator; especially the spills from raw meat, raw poultry, hot dogs, and lunch meat packages.
- In order for this to be achieved, on weekly basis, clean the shelves and the inside walls of the fridge using soap and hot water.
- All raw foods have to be washed under running water even if they have to be only peeled.
- Firm products such as cucumbers or melons need to be cleaned with clean brush so that they are well scrubbed.
- After you have thoroughly washed your foods use a paper towel or a clean cloth to dry them off.
- Make a good food selection meaning separate vegetables, and cooked foods from raw meats and poultry.
Other sources included: