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Dole Fresh Vegetables has recalled packaged salads sold under the Dole brand and several major retailers' store brands over concerns that they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and young children.
This new recall comes on the heels of similar recalls of packaged salads issued by Dole and Fresh Express in December.
The company made the announcement after equipment used to harvest iceberg lettuce tested positive for the bacteria. The tainted greens were then processed at facilities in Springfield, Ohio, and Soledad, California, before being distributed to 37 states.
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Affected store brands include Walmart’s Marketside, Aldi’s Little Salad Bar and H-E-B label salads. The President’s Choice brand sold in Canada was also recalled.
How to spot recalled salads
Products subject to the recall are identified with a lot code beginning with the letter “W” and a “Best if used by” date between Dec. 22, 2021, and Jan. 9, 2022, and the letter “B” with a “Best if used by” date between Dec. 23, 2021, and Jan. 8, 2022. Shoppers can see the full list of recalled salads and corresponding lot codes (located in the upper-right-hand corner of the package) on Dole's recall announcement page.
If you have any of the recalled salads in your refrigerator, throw them away immediately, even though no illnesses associated with the affected products have been reported as of Jan. 7. Anyone with questions should contact the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. PT.
States where recalled salads were sold
Symptoms of a listeria infection
Listeriosis, the infection caused by eating food contaminated with the listeria bacterium, may cause serious and sometimes fatal illness in people 65 and older and those with weakened immune systems. Pregnant women and newborns are also at risk of serious infections from this bacterium. Symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, fever, muscle aches and convulsions, according to the Department of Agriculture.
People usually report symptoms one to four weeks after eating food contaminated with listeria. But some have reported symptoms as late as 70 days after exposure and as early as the day of exposure. Listeriosis is diagnosed with a bacterial culture and treated with antibiotics.
About 1,600 people in the U.S. get listeriosis each year, resulting in 260 deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates. Americans age 65 and older are four times as likely as others to get a listeria infection.
Aaron Kassraie writes about issues important to military veterans and their families for AARP. He also serves as a general assignment reporter. Kassraie previously covered U.S. foreign policy as a correspondent for the Kuwait News Agency’s Washington bureau and worked in news gathering for USA Today and Al Jazeera English.