The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a nationwide warning to consumers against eating certain pre-packaged Dole salad products because these products have been associated with an outbreak of E-coli O157 in Minnesota.
The affected products include three brand names and are labeled with “best-if-used by” dates. The products are:
· Classic Romaine – with a best-if-used-by date of September 23, 2005 and a production code beginning with “B250”
· American Blend – with a best-if-used-by date of September 23, 2005 and a production code beginning with “B250”
· Greener Selection – with a best-if-used-by date of September 22, 2005 and a production code beginning with “B250”
Illnesses have been associated with consumption of Dole salad products purchased from a single grocery store chain, Rainbow Foods, in its Minnesota locations. However, salad products containing the affected production codes are also distributed nationwide.
The “best-if-used by” date can be located in the upper right hand corner of the front of the bag. While it is unlikely that stores still have this product on their shelves, consumers may have the product in their refrigerators. Consumers who have any of the three packaged salads listed should dispose of the product.
At this time, no other Dole salad products are involved and the Dole Food Company has issued a recall for the implicated salad products.
E-Coli often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, in some persons, particularly children under five years of age and the elderly, the infection can cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death.
To date there have been reports of eleven cases of illness attributed to E-Coli O157 in Minnesota. Of these eleven cases, two individuals have been hospitalized.