"Canadian health officials have added four more cases of listeria to an outbreak in the U.S. and Canada that was linked to Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc.’s Springfield, Ohio, plant.
The Springfield plant remains closed while regulatory and company officials continue to investigate the outbreak.
‘Four cases of listeria have been added to the national investigation,’ according to a Feb. 2 statement by the Public Health Agency of Canada. ‘These illnesses were previously reported in Ontario and are not new illnesses; however, additional laboratory test results have now confirmed a link between these four illnesses and the previously recalled packaged salad products.’
The additional cases raise the Canadian total to 11, health officials said.
Since July 5 last year, 15 people from six U.S. states have been reported being infected with listeria, Dole officials said in a release. All cases led to hospitalization, and one person died in Michigan, U.S. health officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not disclosed information about the death.
The Public Health Agency of Canada initially reported seven people were infected with listeria in five provinces and became ill between September and early January. All individuals were hospitalized, and one person has died although it has not been determined if listeria contributed to the cause of death, Canadian health officials said.
The agency is awaiting test results that identify cause of death, Maryse Durette, a spokesperson for the Canadian health agency, said Jan. 28.
Dole reported Jan. 21 to U.S. health officials it had suspended operations at the Ohio plant. The company recalled all Dole and private-label packaged salads produced there.
Production has been shifted to other Dole processing facilities until the plant is back online, Bil Goldfield, Dole spokesperson, said in a Jan. 28 e-mail.
Dole’s primary concern is always the health and safety of its consumers, Goldfield said.