Feds Probe Dole Over Listeria In Packaged Salads

Dole said that it was recently contacted by DOJ investigators and vowed to cooperate "to answer questions and address any concerns."

(Image credit: Dole)
(Image credit: Dole)

The Justice Department is investigating Dole Food Co. over a listeria outbreak linked to its packaged salads.

The company said in a statement last week that it was recently contacted by DOJ investigators and vowed to cooperate "to answer questions and address any concerns."

Dole reopened its plant in Springfield, Ohio, late last month after suspending production in January. That month, Ohio agriculture officials found listeria in Dole salad that closely resembled the strain that sickened dozens in the U.S. and Canada between May 2015 and February 2016.

(Image credit: Dole)(Image credit: Dole)

Thirty-three people were hospitalized in the outbreak and four died.

Reports also said that Dole tests found evidence of listeria at the plant on multiple occasions beginning as early as July 2014, according to Food and Drug Administration documents.

Dole's statement disclosing the DOJ probe was part of a larger release stressing that the issues outlined in the FDA report were previously corrected.

"We understand that these recent news reports may raise questions among our consumers and customers," the company said. "They should be assured, however, that we have worked in conjunction with the FDA to address those observations and ensure that Dole products are safe."

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