A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in the United States associated with bagged salad has concerned many people. At least 12 people in the U.S. have been sickened in this outbreak. All of them have been hospitalized.
Dole recalled certain packaged salad products made in its Springfield, Ohio facility. Only products with product codes starting with an “A” have been affected.
If you purchased Dole salads, here’s what to do. First, check your refrigerator to see if you have the recalled products. The salads can be identified by the letter “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package. That code is underneath the “enjoy by” date. The recalled salads were all packaged at the Dole processing facility in Springfield, Ohio. There is no evidence “at this time” to suggest that packaged salads produced at other Dole facilities are linked to illness.
The salads were sold under the following names: Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. The recalled salads were sold in these States: 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. In Canada, the salads were sold in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Quebec.
Those sickened in the United States live in Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The dates of Listeria specimen collection in those patients range from July 5, 2015 to December 23, 2015. This outbreak has been going on for a long time. And listeriosis, the illness caused by this bacteria, can take up to 70 days to appear after first exposure, complicating the investigation.
Pregnant women who have eaten the recalled salads may think about contacting their physicians about this outbreak and recall. Listeriosis can be very serious for pregnant women, and can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. Some doctors give prophylactic doses of antibiotics to their patients who may have been exposed to Listeria monocytogenes.
If you did purchase this product, and ate it, monitor yourself for the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning for the next 70 days, since symptoms can be delayed for that long. Those symptoms include flu-like fever and muscle aches, upset stomach or diarrhea, stiff neck, headache, loss of balance, confusion, and convulsions. If you do experience these symptoms, see your doctor and tell him you ate this recalled product.
If you purchased this product and it is in your home, throw it away immediately. The salad should be placed in a closed plastic bag in a sealed trash can, so other people and animals can’t eat it. Wash your hands well with soap and water. Then wash the refrigerator drawer, or anyplace the salad was stored, with a mild bleach solution. Listeria bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures, so it’s important that your appliance be thoroughly cleaned.
Any cutting boards, surfaces, or utensils that came into contact with the salad should be washed as well. A dishwasher is the best way to sanitize utensils. Otherwise, use hot water and soap, following by a sanitizing solution of one tablespoon chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water. Then wash your hands again.