Statement by Wenonah Hauter, executive director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. – “It was revealed today that Dole knew about a listeria outbreak at its facility for 18 months before shutting down its operations. The strain of listeria at the Dole facility is connected to 33 hospitalizations and four deaths.
“According to FDA inspection reports obtained by Food Safety News, Dole’s own testing showed listeria contamination as early as July 2014, yet the facility kept producing salads that were shipped throughout the U.S. and Canada throughout January of this year, when the company issued its own recall notice. Food Safety News reports that the FDA knew of the problem since March 2014.
"What is needed is a robust government inspection system with effective enforcement. This case proves that reliance on the industry to police itself does not work, and schemes that would rely on private third party auditors to enforce food safety standards are no substitutes for an independent government inspection program.”
UPDATE: This story was also previously reported by Food Poisoning Bulletin in March, after analyzing information obtained in a similar FOIA request.
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-4905, [email protected]