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1 dead in listeria outbreak linked to packaged lettuce

WASHINGTON >> Packaged salads produced at a Dole facility in Ohio are linked to one death in Michigan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

The CDC said 12 people in six states have been hospitalized in the outbreak since July after eating salads sold under the names Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and President’s Choice.

The CDC said it linked the outbreak to the Dole salads this month after Ohio agriculture officials found listeria in a bag bought at a retail location. The strain of listeria was “highly related genetically” to the listeria that had made people sick.

The CDC said Dole had stopped all production at the Springfield, Ohio, plant and is withdrawing packaged salads on the market that were produced there. Consumers can identify the salads by the letter “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code on the packages.

The agency said that the illnesses were in Michigan, New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Those sickened ranged in age from three years old to 83 years old.

In a statement, Dole said its other facilities are not linked to the outbreak. The company said it is withdrawing the salads from sale in more than 20 states and three Canadian provinces.

Listeria primarily affects the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women and newborn infants. It can cause fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms and can be fatal. It also can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and serious illness or death in newborn babies.

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