Listeria outbreak linked to Springfield Dole plant widens in Canada

Springfield plant production still halted.

Four additional illnesses in Canada have been linked to the listeriosis outbreak connected to Dole’s processing facility in Springfield, according to information from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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The latest update shows there are now 11 cases in Canada in five provinces that have been linked to the outbreak. Previous updates showed seven cases.

The additional four cases were reported previously and aren’t new illnesses, according to the Canadian government. But they have been added because laboratory tests have since confirmed a link to the same strain that was found in packaged salad products from the company.

Three people have also died in Canada, but it has not yet been determined if listeria contributed to the cause of death in any of those cases.

Dole officials didn’t respond for a request for additional comment. The company has said it will provide updates through its website, although the additional cases in Canada weren’t mentioned on Dole’s website on Friday.

Company officials have said the Springfield facility would be closed from two to four weeks while the investigation continues, but no further updates on when production would resume were available.

No new updates were available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. So far, the agency has reported a total of 15 hospitalizations in the U.S., including one death of a man in Michigan. The outbreak has been reported in eight states.

Dole voluntarily stopped production at the Springfield facility when the cases were linked to the site. Lab tests performed by the Ohio Department of Health linked the outbreak to packaged salads produced in Springfield. The affected products include Dole and store brands for Kroger, Aldi, Meijer and Walmart, and the salads can be identified by a product code that begins with an “A” on the packaging.

Listeria is a food-borne bacteria typically found in raw vegetables and meats, as well as some soft cheeses.

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