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Filed February 3rd, 2016 M. Lepmanis

State tests have linked an ongoing seven-month Listeria outbreak to the Dole Fresh Vegetable Inc. plant in Springfield, Ohio. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in leafy greens packaged in that facility.

To date, 15 people have been sickened across eight U.S. states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All had to be hospitalized and one has died. In Canada, health officials reported that, across five provinces, seven people had been infected and one had died. It has not yet been confirmed if the fatality was caused by Listeriosis, according to Food Safety News.

The Dole Food Co. of Westlake Village, California issued a statement declaring that its “voluntary withdrawal” of all products received from the Springfield plant was the same as a recall; the words are different, but the outcome is basically the same. “Serious adverse health consequences or death” upon consuming a particular product, is the federal definition of a “recall.” The use of “withdrawal” implies “a minor violation that would not be subject to legal action by the FDA or which involves no violation.”

As of January 27, Dole contacted all retailers in 23 states and three Canadian provinces that had received packaged salads from the Springfield, Ohio plant. The outbreak, which goes back to at least July 2015, was not linked to the Springfield facility until early January, according to Food Safety News. The Listeria strain matched samples from outbreak victims to federal disease databases when a lab test came back positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a packaged salad from Ohio.

The brands of leafy greens and fresh-cut vegetables that have been recalled are: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice Organics.

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