Dole Recalls Bagged Salads in US for Possible Listeria

Yesterday, we wrote that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency warned about potential <"">Listeria monocytogenes contamination inked to some Dole bagged salads imported to several Canadian provinces from the United States. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Dole Fresh Vegetables is voluntarily recalling 2,880 cases of DOLE® Italian Blend salad.

The recalled DOLE® Italian Blend salad contains a Use-by Date of June 19, 2011; UPC code 7143000819; and Product Codes 0049A157201A, 0049A157201B, 0049A157202A, 0049A157202B, 0686A157202A, 0686A157202B.

The recall also involves 442 cases of Kroger Fresh Selections Italian Style Blend salad with Use-by-Date of June 19, 2011, UPC code 1111091045, and Product Codes A157201A and A157201B, also due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes.

Dole Fresh Vegetables is collaborating with regulatory officials; no illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. Bear in mind, that it can take some time for the effects of Listeria-related food poisoning to manifest in symptoms.

The Product Code and Use-by Date appear 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 twelve U.S. states—Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin—and three Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec..

The recall notification has been issued following an isolated instance in which one package of Dole Italian Blend salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test collected and conducted by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. No other Dole or Kroger salads are included in the recall.

Consumers with any recalled product bearing these Product Codes should not consume it, but rather 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 Daylight Time (PDT), Monday through Friday.

Retailers should check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers or in warehouse inventories. Dole Fresh Vegetables customer service representatives are already contacting retailers and are in the process of confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.

For susceptible populations, infection with the Listeria pathogen can cause significant illnesses linked to the central nervous system, the developing fetus, and placenta. Consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause Listeriosis, a potentially fatal foodborne Illness that infects about 2,500 people in the U.S., killing 500 each year.

Listeriosis symptoms include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, nausea, abdominal cramps and pain, and diarrhea. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to be infected and Listeriosis can kill fetuses, can prompt premature births, can lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.

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