Following a Listeria outbreak allegedly linked to a Dole Food Co. salad manufacturing plant, the company is reportedly facing investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Several media outlets have reported that an FDA investigation obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request found Dole knew of nine positive tests for Listeria at the plant taken as early as July 2014, more than a year before the company closed the plant. See The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2016.
In response, Dole issued an April 29 statement expressing concerns “about the recent stories in some publications about the FDA’s observation reports. Those FDA reports deal with issues at our plant that we have 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,” the statement says. The company further states, “Dole has recently been contacted by the Department of Justice in connection with its own investigation, and we will be similarly cooperating with the DOJ to answer questions and address any concerns.”
Details about a consumer lawsuit alleging consumption of the salad product caused one person to become comatose appear in Issue 597 of this Update.