Dole Fresh Vegetables has issued a voluntary recall for packaged salads processed at its Springfield, Ohio, and Soledad, California, production facilities that contain iceberg lettuce over contamination fears.
According to an alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the lettuce in these salads could be tainted with listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
Details of the Packaged Salads Recall
A number of products are subject to this recall including some that were distributed in Canada. Most of the products were distributed to retailers in several states including California. This recall is in addition to other recent salad recalls issued by Dole. Officials are concerned that some of the packaged salads could still be in consumers’ refrigerators because of the use-by dates, which run into January.
The FDA is asking consumers who still have any of these products in their refrigerators not to consume the product and to discard it immediately. No illnesses have been reported with the products being recalled to date. This recall is being issued after equipment used to harvest the raw iceberg lettuce contained in the packaged salads was found to contain Listeria monocytogenes.
The product lot codes are located in the upper right-hand corner of the packages. Consumers with questions are asked to call the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111.
Dangers of Listeria
The recalled packaged salads could be contaminated with listeria. According to the FDA, listeria bacteria have the potential to cause serious or even fatal infections in young children, the elderly, and others with compromised immune systems. Even healthy individuals may suffer symptoms such as high fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
In addition, a listeria infection could cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,600 get listeriosis each year in the U.S. and approximately 260 die each year as a result of this infection.
What Steps Can You Take?
If you have contracted a listeria infection as the result of a food product contaminated by the bacteria, make sure you isolate the leftover food so no one else in your household consumes it. Get medical attention, treatment, and care for your illness as soon as possible, and follow the doctor’s orders for treatment and care.
If you are diagnosed with listeriosis, have the leftover food tested independently in a laboratory to check for the presence of pathogens. In this case, that includes the Dole packaged salads.
Report your illness to your local health care agency, which tends to track trends in food-borne illnesses. Contact an experienced food poisoning lawyer who can help you secure compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.