CDC investigated this outbreak in 2019 and 2020 but was unable to gather enough data to identify the source in the past. CDC reopened the investigation in November 2021 when four new illnesses were reported since the end of August 2021.
Epidemiologic and recent laboratory data show that packaged salads produced by Dole are contaminated with Listeria and making people sick.
As of December 17, 2021, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 13 states: Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Illnesses started on dates ranging from August 16, 2014, to October 17, 2021.
Sick people range in age from 50 to 94 years, with a median age of 76, and 81% are female. Of 14 people with information available, 12 have been hospitalized. Two deaths have been reported from Michigan and Wisconsin.
In October 2021, the Georgia Department of Agriculture identified the outbreak strain of Listeria in a Dole brand garden salad as part of a routine sampling program of food at grocery stores. As a result, Dole recalled some of their garden salad products that are now past their “best if used by” dates. This sampling was not part of this outbreak investigation, but WGS later showed that the Listeria bacteria in the garden salad were closely related to the outbreak strain.
After CDC reopened this outbreak investigation, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development collected samples of packaged salads from retail stores for testing and identified the outbreak strain of Listeria in a Marketside brand package of shredded iceberg that was produced by Dole.
On December 22, 2021, Dole recalled all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at the two facilities that produced the contaminated packaged salads. Sold under multiple brands:
- Little Salad Bar
- Naturally Better
- Nature’s Promise
- Simply Nature
- Products include mixed greens, garden salads, Caesar kits, and many other types of salads in bags or clamshells
- “Best if used by” dates from 11/30/21 through 01/08/22
- Product lot code begins with the letter “N” or “Y” in the upper right-hand corner of the package
Listeria: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as lettuce, polony, deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.
If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.