The use of packaged salad of different brands has been put into suspicion for creating an outbreak of two small, long-running listeria which can potentially kill many people as alerted by the United States health officials. Three deaths have already been reported associated with the listeria outbreak.
An Alarm Of Listeria Outbreak From Packaged Salad
The two brands are said to be linked with the outbreak, one with the packaged salad produced by Fresh Express and another produced by Dole.
Two strains of listeria have been found to come into the picture, causing a huge number of hospitalizations and the few deaths that have been reported. But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is yet to figure out any link between the two strains. The origin of the deadly outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes for either of the strains is a mystery yet to be unveiled.
Damage caused by Listeria linked with Fresh Express.
A total of ten individuals from around eight states were found to be affected by the one associated with the Fresh Express in between the duration of 2016 and late October this year. A single casualty from Pennsylvania was reported and the rest of them were hospitalized. It led to the calling off of all the products, including the product codes with Z324 through Z350. Restrictions have been imposed on the recalled products to eat, sell or serve all these items.
The outbreak linked with Dole
The outbreak associated with Dole packaged salads dawned upon 16 individuals from all across 13 states in between the time period of august 2014 and mid-October this year, leading to two casualties one from Michigan and the other from Wisconsin, and 12 being hospitalized. The company had to call off the different brands of packaged salads which had the manufacturing dates from November 30 to January 8. Voluntarily they agreed to suspend their activities from several locations and the brands produced from those facilities, which mostly had production lot codes beginning with either the letter ‘N’ or ‘Y’.
Investigations on the outbreak
In the way of investigation, the genome sequencing was done from the sample of the sick people, which displayed a conspicuous genetic similarity hinting at the cause of sickness from the same kind of food. In October 2021, the Georgia Department of Agriculture investigated a sample of pre-packaged salad mix from a retail grocery shop and found positive for Listeria Monocytogenes. On further investigation, when it was sent to the Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS), it resulted in a match with the outbreak strain as reported by the FDA. Earlier, there was information regarding low-level but persistent contamination of the bacteria in both processing facilities, which was unintentionally neglected in the first epidemiological investigations. CDC failed to collect the data in the past in order to locate the source of the outbreak.
How the bacteria causes infection
The bacteria Listeria monocytogenes is a very rigid one that can stay put on the surfaces in production facilities or other places. The food contaminated with the deadly bacteria may not look or smell spoiled but carry the potential to cause life-threatening infections. The symptom may vary from person to person, starting from one to four weeks after eating contaminated food or may even start on the same day. It’s necessary for anyone who has consumed any of the recalled products to remain vigilant in the coming weeks as it takes up to 70 days from exposure to Listeria monocytogenes. It is optimistic to seek medical treatment as soon as possible if any kind of symptoms develops. The symptoms include vomiting, persistent fever; muscle aches, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. It is advised by the FDA to keep vigilance in the cleansing and sanitization of surfaces and containers to help contain the infection.