DOJ Launches Criminal Investigation into Dole

By Food Safety Tech Staff
1 Comment

Reports say that the company knew about Listeria contamination for more than a year before it shut down its facility.

Learn innovative ways to mitigate the threat of Listeria at the Listeria Detection & Control Workshop | May 31–June 1, 2016 | St. Paul, MN | LEARN MOREOn Friday the news broke that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was investigating Dole Food Co. over the Listeria outbreak involving packaged salad. The deadly outbreak was linked to salad produced at Dole’s Springfield, Ohio facility. Although the DOJ has not yet commented on the criminal investigation, The Wall Street Journal reports that Dole reported positive Listeria samples at its facility as early as July 2014.

In January 2016, Dole voluntarily recalled all salad mixes produced at the Springfield plant, by which point 33 people in the United States and Canada had fallen ill with Listeria and four had died. The CDC reported on March 31 that the outbreak appeared to be over and Dole restarted production at the Springfield facility in April.

In a press release on the company’s website, Dole stated that the issues FDA reported at its Springfield facility have been corrected. “We have been working in collaboration with the FDA and other authorities to implement ongoing improved testing, sanitation and procedure enhancements, which have resulted in the recent reopening of our Springfield salad plant.” It also acknowledged that it had been contacted by the DOJ related to an investigation and will be cooperating with the department.

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Comments

  1. Gene Bartholomew

    I expect more from a program supposedly dedicated to food safety. This article makes several statements that are plain silly to people involved in Listeria control. Just because the Wall Street Journal reports something does not mean it has scientific legitimacy or significance. And the link Dole press releases, while actually going to the Dole website, is useless as Dole does not actually allow access to press releases on its website.

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