The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported TODAY that Dole Fresh Vegetables, a subsidiary of Dole Food Company based in Monterey, California, voluntarily recalled a limited number of cases of bagged salad yesterday.
The products being recalled are Dole Italian Blend, Fresh Selections Italian Style Blend, Little Salad Bar Italian Salad and Marketside Italian Style Salad, with Use-by date of March 12, 2014 due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes. Dole Fresh Vegetables is coordinating closely with regulatory officials and has posted the recall on their website.
No illnesses have been reported in association with the recall. This precautionary recall notification was issued based on one sample of Dole Italian salad that yielded a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in a random sample test conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The salads were distributed in 15 U.S. states (Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia) and 3 Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Ontario & Quebec).
William Goldfield, Director of Corporate Communications at Dole Fresh, said, “On the trace back, we’ve been able to identify where the lots came from, the plant they were processed in, and that allows us to trace forward to the distribution points for these salad products.” Dole Fresh Vegetables customer service representatives are already contacting retailers and are in the process of confirming that the recalled product is being removed from the stream of commerce.
Although the products are one day past the Use-By date, it is highly unlikely that any product is still available at retail; however, retailers should check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the product is mistakenly present or available for purchase by consumers or in warehouse inventories.
“Overall, we have found that getting in front of an issue like this and identifying it head-on gets the best response from consumers,” commented Goldfield. “The worst thing you can do, I think, is is to pretend that something like this isn’t occurring. We try to do our best to explain what’s happening to keep people informed.”
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause foodborne illness in a person who eats a food item contaminated with it. Symptoms of infection may include fever, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. The illness primarily impacts pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems. Most healthy adults and children rarely become seriously ill.
No other salads are included in the recall. Only the specific Product Codes, UPC codes and March 12, 2014 Use-by date identified above are included in the recall. Consumers who have any remaining product with these Product Codes should not consume it, but rather discard it. Retailers and consumers with questions may call the Dole Food Company Consumer Response Center at (800) 356-3111, which is open 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (PT) Monday – Friday.
Founded in Hawaii in 1851, Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2010 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods, and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. The Company does business in more than 90 countries and employs, on average, 36,000 full-time, regular employees and 23,000 full-time seasonal or temporary employees, worldwide.