Dole is recalling more bagged salads—this time Dole Hearts of Romaine—over potential contamination with the dangerous, deadly Listeria monocytogenes pathogen, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.
Dole Fresh Vegetables is recalling 2,598 cases of the possibly contaminated bagged Dole Hearts of Romaine salad coded 0540N165112A or B, with a use-by date of June 26, and a UPC of 7143000956. Dole Fresh Vegetables is collaborating with regulatory officials and indicated that no illnesses have been reported in association with this recall.
As we’ve often cautioned, the Listeria pathogen thrives in cold environments, such as refrigerators, and also has a fairly long incubation period—up to 70 days. Listeria also well tolerates heat and dry temperatures, adding further challenges to the pathogen’s eradication and length to expected reporting time frames.
The product code and use-by date are located in the upper right-hand corner of the package; the UPC appears on the back of the package, below the barcode. The recalled bagged Romaine salads were distributed in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. A sample of Dole Hearts of Romaine salad yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the FDA. No other salads are included in the recall.
Consumers in possession of the recalled salad are warned not to consume it and to discard the recalled produce. Dole Food Company Consumer Response Center can be reached, toll-free, at 1.800.356.3111, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Pacific Time (PT), Monday through Friday.
Dole Foods notes that the product is three days past its use-by date and said it is highly unlikely that any product remains available in stores; however, retailers should check 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 confirming that the recalled product is not in the stream of commerce.
Last month we wrote that Dole issued an earlier recall for bagged salads, also over potential Listeria contamination. That recall involved 1,077 cases of Kroger Fresh Selections Greener Supreme and Leafy Romaine salads and Walmart Marketside Leafy Romaine that were distributed in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. A sample of Marketside Leafy Romaine salad yielded a positive result for the Listeria monocytogenes pathogen in a random sample test conducted by the State of North Carolina. Those products were also three days past their use-by date at the time of that recall.
The Listeria monocytogenes pathogen can lead to the listeriosis infection, which is a potentially fatal infection 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. Listeria infection can prompt premature births, or the death of the fetus via miscarriages and stillbirths. Pregnant women are 20 times likelier to become infected. Listeriosis can also lead to hearing loss or brain damage in newborns, and can prompt neurological effects and cardio respiratory failure in adults.
We also wrote that, earlier this year, Dole Fresh Vegetables recalled other salads for potential Salmonella contamination. In that case, a random sampling revealed a positive result for Salmonella in a test collected and conducted by the State of New York.