Listeria in Dole packaged salad kills one, sickens 11

Salad leaves in a file photo. An outbreak of listeria in the US has been linked to salads packaged at a Dole plant in Ohio.
Salad leaves in a file photo. An outbreak of listeria in the US has been linked to salads packaged at a Dole plant in Ohio.PHOTO: SALMA SEMONO

WASHINGTON (AFP) - One person has died and 11 have been hospitalised due to an outbreak of listeria linked to salads packaged at a Dole plant in Ohio, US health authorities said Friday.

The infections have been documented in six states since July 5, 2015, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said, including New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The fatality occurred in Michigan.

"Packaged salads produced at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio and sold under various brand names are the likely source of this outbreak," the CDC said.

Dole halted production at the site on Thursday, and is "withdrawing packaged salads currently on the market that were produced at this facility," said the agency, warning consumers not to eat any salads packaged there.

"These packaged salads were sold under various brand names, including Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President's Choice," said the CDC, noting that the products can also be identified by the letter A at the beginning of the manufacturing code on the package.

The infection, formally known as listeriosis, is caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which can infect fresh produce, soft cheese and processed meats.

It is especially dangerous to children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.