We will inform you about a disturbing problem for one common type of salads and the outbreak of listeria. Namely, this infection comes from Dole salads, produced in Springfield, Ohio, and ended with a warning by the CDC on January 22nd, 2016 against them.
Listeria is, actually, a foodborne bacterial disease that can have a damaging effect on pregnant women and individuals that have weak immune system.
Its occurrence can be a result of unpasteurized dairy products, unwashed products, andraw meat.
Listeria bacteria can survive freezing and refrigeration. It can be either cured by an antibiotics treatment or the immune system will fight by itself. Yet, its outbreak might cause life-threatening issues, including:
- Septicemia- general infection of the blood
- Inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain (meningitis)
In this case it may spread to the nervous system, it can cause:
- Changes in alertness and confusion
- Stiff neck
- Loss of balance
If you experience nausea, muscle pain, diarrhea or fever, you must consult a doctor.
According to the CDC, every year in the U.S., 260 people die and 1,600 people get sick because of listeria infections. In 2012was noted the last statistically important listeria outbreak.
In September 2015, CDC started a cooperation with the FDA and public health officials so as to inspect the outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections, listeriosis that took place in few states. This involved 6 states Michigan, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania,Indiana, New Jersey, and New York.
Apart from Dole salads, the listeria epidemic was reported to have involved other brands too, such as:
- President’s Choice Organic
- The Little Salad Bar
- Fresh Selections
- Simple Truth
This facility’s products are sold in this states:
- South Carolina
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
Until now, there is no evidence that Dole packaged salads at other processing facilities all over the United States are related to the disease.
However, it wasn’t just the U.S. that was affected by this problem. Namely, the listeria outbreak also was developed on the north and involved products in Canadian supermarkets. These may be recognized by the code that starts with the letter A.
The federal recall of the CFIA relates to 48 kinds of the Dole pre-packaged chopped salads, as well as salad kitsandblends, and nine different kinds of PC Organics leafy greens.
Luckily, there is no report to state that the bacteria has affected any Canadians so far.
Because of this problems, on January 22nd, Dole Fresh Vegetables informed the FDA that the processing factory in Springfield would temporarily stop the operations. Furthermore, they willingly withdrew their products processed there, from the market.
Still, if you have bought any of the affected products, you need to follow these guidelines from the CDC:
So as to avoid their consumption by other peopleoranimals, you must throw the salad in a closed plastic bag in a sealed dustbin. Using hot waterandsoap, wash the drawer of your fridge, where you previously kept these products.
Furthermore, thoroughly wash all the utensils, cutting boards, and surfaces you use to store or serve salads in your dishwasher or using a hot water, soap, and a sanitizer. Alsoyou can use the mixture of hot water and vinegar for the same purpose. Note that afterward,you must wash your hands, using warm wateranda soap.
If you experience any of the listed symptoms you must visit your doctor. Moreover, to prevent contaminationandillnesses, you should follow the recommendations of the FDA:
In order to keep your kitchen clean:
- After preparing raw foods, you need to wash all knives, cutting boards, countertops you have used, and also your hands.
- Keep the freezer 0°F or lowerandthe fridge at 40°F or lower, in order to prevent the expansion of Listeria monocytogenes in the refrigerated foods.
- Clean all spills in the fridge, from raw poultry, raw meat, hot dogs, and lunch meat packages.
- Every week, use hot water and a soap to clean the shelves and the inside walls of the fridge.
- Additionally, before you eat or prepare raw foods, you need to rinsethem, even those that will be peeled, under running water.
- With a clean brush, scrub firm products like melonsorcucumbers.
- Use a clean cloth or a paper towel to dry the foods after rinsing.
- Separate vegetables and cooked foods from poultry and raw meats.