CDC Is Investigating a Listeria Outbreak in Dole Salads That Killed 2 People

On December 22, 2021, Dole voluntarily recalled some of their packaged salads due to the possibility of listeria contamination. At the time, Dole announced that they would also be temporarily closing the factories where the salads were processed, and thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing everything before resuming operations.

The recall was done out of caution. There weren’t any known reports of anyone getting sick from eating the salads. At the time, the recall occurred because a strain of listeria monocytogenes was found in a random sample of a Dole packaged salad.

On average, it takes between 1 to 4 weeks for symptoms of listeria to occur. That means that if someone ate a salad that was part of the recall just days before the recall happened, they may not have gotten sick until the middle of January.

Now, 2 deaths and 17 illnesses have been reported due to listeria contamination from Dole salads. The CDC is investigating this outbreak as well as another listeria outbreak in Fresh Express salads, which has been responsible for 1 death and 10 illnesses.

Listeria can cause symptoms that are similar to food poisoning symptoms such as fever and diarrhea. More severe cases can include symptoms such as muscle aches, fever, headache, loss of balance, confusion and convolsions.

Listeria can be particularly dangerous for anyone who is pregnant. In addition to causing fever, muscle aches and fatigue in the pregnant woman, listeria can also result in premature birth or even pregnancy loss. Newborns may be seriously ill or die after being born.

If you have eaten packaged salads in the past few weeks that may have been part of the recall, tell your health care provider right away if you notice any of the symptoms that could be caused by listeria contamination.

If you have any packaged salads in your refrigerator, check to make sure they are not part of the recall. These include salads in bags and clamshells from the Dole brand as well as salads sold under the brands Ahold, HEB, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature’s Promise, President’s Choice and Simply Nature. If you have any of these products that also have “best if used by” dates from 11/30/21 through 1/9/22, throw them out right away and clean any surfaces the lettuce may have touched.

In addition, check to see if you have any Fresh Express salads that have a use by date that includes a product code between Z324 and Z350. These salads were sold under the brand names Bowl & Basket, Fresh Express, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic. If you have any of these salads, throw them out immediately.

Did you find any salads in your refrigerator that were part of the recall?