CDC Adds Salad to Listeria Questionnaire in Wake of Outbreak

bag of lettuceThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revealed why it took more than a year to discover that packaged salad was the source of a Listeria outbreak that killed one person and sickened nine others between July 15, 2015 and January, 2016.

According to recently released field notes, the multi-year, multi-state outbreak could have been traced to the source of the problem much sooner if leafy greens had been included on the food history questionnaires sick patients were asked to complete. 

Investigators only discovered that packaged salads were to blame after conducting open-ended interviews with new and previously interviewed patients in December and January.

The CDC eventually discovered that the outbreak was caused by packaged salads from a Dole plant in Springfield, Ohio. Dole recalled 22 varieties of packaged salads produced at the plant on Jan. 27, 2016.

The CDC has since updated its food history questionnaire to include packaged salads as a potential cause of Listeria. This should help investigators identify this type of problem faster if it happens again. 

The reason packaged salads were not on the questionnaire before is that leafy greens had not previously been associated with Listeria, according to CDC field notes.

This was the eighth Listeria outbreak that has been linked to fresh produce since 2008. It is unclear at this time why there has been an increase in outbreaks. It could be the result of increased outbreak detection or changes in consumer eating habits.

The CDC advises companies that process fresh produce to review their food safety plans and look into adding measures that help prevent the growth of Listeria.

You have legal options in the event of a food poisoning case like this. Consult the food poisoning attorneys at the Arnold Law Firm to find out if you are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other expenses.

Call an injury lawyer at our firm at (916) 777-7777 to set up a free consultation.