The food manufacturer Dole recalled nearly 3000 cases of “Dole Hearts of Romaine” bagged salad last week after a random sample tested positive for the bacterium listeria, which causes foodborne illness. While the testing was carried out the FDA, the recall is voluntary.
Dole officials explained that the product was distributed in nine states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennesse, and Virginia. Only products that exactly match the product code, UPC, and use by date are included in the recall.
Retailers are already working to remove any of these products that remain in stores. Consumers who have purchased the product are asked to dispose of it.
This instance marks the third time in three months that Dole has recalled bagged salad products. This is the largest recall in the series.
Listeria, or Listeria monocytogenes, is a bacterium that causes symptoms such as fever, aches, nausea, and diarrhea. Pregnant women and adults with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk of infection. About 1600 people are sickened by Listeria each year in the United States. An outbreak in 2002 infected fifty-four people and killed eleven.
No cases of listeria related to this recall have been reported to date.
To prevent infection with listeria among the general population, experts at the CDC recommend that produce and meat products be washed, stored, and cooked properly according to their guidelines.
Any questions or concerns related to the Dole recall should be directed to the Dole Food Company Consumer Response Center.