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If your go-to meal or working desk lunch comprises of packaged salads, you might have to toss it. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a warning for packaged salads produced at Dole's Springfield, Ohio, processing facility.
A listeria outbreak has so far killed one person and hospitalized 11 others, including one pregnant woman.
Pregnant women, young children, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk. Pregnant women should be extremely cautions, as it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or infection of a newborn. The serious food-borne illness has an incubation period between 3 and 70 days, so it can be pretty difficult to track.
What salad brands are affected?
The Little Salad Bar
President's Choice Organics
What states are affected?
Currently, illnesses have been reported in Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, where the largest reported outbreak is so far.
What should I do if I have salad from one of the above brands?
Throw out the salad immediately in a closed plastic bag and sealed trash can so other people or animals won't eat it. The CDC recommends you wash the areas in your fridge where the salad was stored with hot water and soap. For utensils, cutting boards and other surfaces that have come into contact with the salad, use your dishwasher if possible or hot water and soap, followed by one tablespoon of chlorine bleach added to one gallon of hot water. Be sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap after.
What do I do if I or my kids ate a Dole brand packaged salad?
Symptoms of listeria can include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions. For pregnant women, symptoms are more non-specific such as fatigues, aches and fever.
If you are not experiencing any symptoms, most experts say tests or treatments aren't needed, even if you're at higher risk for listeriosis. If you develop symptoms, seek medical care and tell your doctor about eating the product.