Dole is recalling bagged salads for Listeria contamination, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.
Dole Fresh Vegetables is recalling 1,039 cases of its 10-ounce Dole Italian Blend bagged salad. The salad is coded 0049N2202008, with a Use-By date of August 20, and UPC 7143000819. The product code and Use-By date can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC code is on the back of the package, below the barcode. The salads were distributed in eight U.S. states—Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi, and Virginia.
The recall following an instance in which a sample of Dole Italian Blend salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. No other salads are included in the recall.
Consumers in possession of any remaining recalled product should not consume it and should discard it. Retailers and consumers with questions may call the Dole Food Company Consumer Response Center, toll-free, at 1.800.356.3111, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time (PT), Monday through Friday.
Although the product is two days past its Use-By date and Dole believed it is highly unlikely that any product is still available in stores, sellers are advised to check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that no product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers or in warehouse inventories. Dole Fresh Vegetables customer service representatives are contacting retailers and are confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.
Bagged salads have been at the root of a number of Dole Fresh Vegetable recalls. In fact, Dole previously issued a recall of 2,598 cases of Dole Hearts of Romaine salad over potential contamination with the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen. We also recently wrote that Dole issued a recall for 1,077 cases of Romaine salads, also over potential Listeria contamination.
No illnesses have been reported in connection with this recalled bagged Dole salad; however, as we’ve long explained, the Listeria pathogen is unique because it thrives in colder temperatures, such as those found in refrigerated environments. Listeria also has an unusually long incubation period—up to 70 days, according to experts. The pathogen also well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication and length to expected reporting time frames.
Listeria monocytogenes can lead to the listeriosis infection, a potentially fatal disorder that can cause high fever; severe headache, neck stiffness, abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, and nausea, especially in those with weakened immune systems, infants, and the elderly.
Vulnerable populations, such as the developing fetus, can suffer serious central nervous system problems. The infection can also prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriage and stillbirth; pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and to neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.