We have been notified that Price Chopper stores in Vermont have been carrying Dole salads being recalled because of a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. The FDA has been notified. Vermont has not been listed among the states that received the recalled products. We contacted the FDA and the Vermont Department of Health and neither responded by press time.
This underscores the fact that everyone should examine packages of Dole salads that they purchased. If the manufacturing code made up of a list of numbers that is either above or below the “Enjoy By” or “Sell By” date starts with an “A”, that means that product was produced in the Springfield, Ohio plant that made and shipped the salads that made people sick.
The Ohio Department of Health found Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in a package of Dole salad purchased at retail that was made in the Ohio plant. The plant has been voluntarily closed and an investigation has been launched.
The other states where we know the salad was sold are: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The stores that have issued recalls on their web sites are: Giant, Kroger, ALDI, Price Chopper, Walmart, Fred Meyer, Schnucks, Meijer, ShopRite, Stop n Shop, Food 4 Less, Jay C, FoodsCo, and PriceRite. And the salads were sold under these brand names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice Organics.
Whenever there is a recall for a product for a reason that can cause serious illness, also called a Class I recall by the FDA, it’s important that everyone check to make sure they do not have that product in their homes. Sometimes products are sold in areas that are not listed on official recall announcements. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
To date, 12 people in the United States have been sickened in this outbreak. Everyone sickened has been hospitalized.
Remember that the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning include flu-like fever and muscle aches, upset stomach or diarrhea, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance, confusion, or convulsions. Symptoms usually appear within a couple of weeks after exposure, but may take as long as 70 days to appear. That’s what makes diagnosis of this illness so difficult.
Pregnant women must be especially careful about this bacteria, because listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature labor, even if the women only has a mild illness. If you are pregnant and ate one of these recalled salads, call your doctor to ask for details on what to do.
And remember that you are now informed. Don’t panic – just be aware of your health. If you do feel sick, call your doctor. He is there for reassurance as well as diagnosis and treatment.