Over the past seven months, 15 people have been hospitalized due to a multistate outbreak of Listeria infections. One of the infected individuals has died.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began investigating the outbreak in September. However, it wasn't until last month that they uncovered the source: the Dole processing plant in Springfield, Ohio. It turns out that a number of Dole's prepackaged salad mixes were contaminated.
On January 27, 2016, Dole issued a recall and warned consumers not to eat any salad products that have a product code beginning with the letter "A." This code is located in the upper right corner of the package.
What Exactly Is Listeriosis, And Who Is At Risk?
Listeriosis is an infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Although the bacteria start out in the contaminated food you eat, they can quickly spread to your bloodstream. Once they reach your brain, it can cause meningitis - a life-threatening condition.
Those in greatest danger are older adults, pregnant women, newborn babies and individuals with weak immune systems.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms of listeriosis can vary from person to person. If you are 65 years old or older, or if you have a weakened immune system, your symptoms may include:
- Muscle aches
- Neck stiffness
If you are an expectant mother, you may only experience mild symptoms such as fever, headaches and chills. Nevertheless, you may be in danger of miscarrying your child or delivering prematurely.
What Happens If I've Been Harmed By A Contaminated Product?
If you or a family member suffered from listeriosis or another health problem associated with contaminated food, you have legal rights and options. Consider contacting an Ohio attorney experienced in product liability claims. Your lawyer can investigate your situation and determine if you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries.