As handy as packaged salads can be—especially during the busy holidays—you may want to rethink using any currently in your fridge. That’s because Dole Fresh Vegetables has issued a voluntary, precautionary recall for all its salads processed at two of their facilities because of a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In addition to bagged salads bearing the Dole name, the recalled items were also sold at supermarkets and big-box retailers across the country. Here’s what to know about the recall, including what to do if you’ve purchased any of the potentially contaminated salads.
Why the Dole salads are being recalled
Bagged salad recalls have become so common that they all seem to blend together. In this case, that’s accurate. You can read the whole saga in this FDA outbreak advisory, but basically, reports of infections tied to this strain Listeria (16 illnesses, 12 hospitalizations, and two deaths) found in packaged salads goes back to 2014, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA have been investigating it since. A recent inspection gave health officials reason to believe that other bagged salads potentially pose the same health risk.
Which salads are part of the recall?
Although Dole is responsible for processing all the recalled salads, they were also sold under in-house store labels at retailers like Kroger, Aldi, Walmart, and others. In addition to Dole, the brand names of these salad products include Ahold, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature’s Promise, and Simply Nature. A full list of the products—including their brand names, size, and UPC—can be found on the FDA website.
All of the recalled products were processed at Dole’s Bessemer City, NC and Yuma, AZ facilities. According to the FDA, products processed at the company’s Springfield, OH and Soledad, CA facilities are not included in the recall, and no other Dole products, including “ready-to-eat” salad products, fresh fruit, and field-packed fresh vegetables, are part of the recall and are safe to consume.
How to identify recalled salad products
If you currently have any of the products listed on the FDA website in your fridge, look at the product lot code on the upper right-hand corner of the package (see image below). If it begins with the letter “N” or “Y” and has a “Best if Used By” date between November 30, 2021 and January 8, 2022, then it’s part of the recall.
The recalled salad products were sold in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. If you check the product code and it begins with a “W” or “B,” that means they were processed in Springfield and Soledad, respectively, and are safe to eat.
What to do if you have recalled salad
The FDA urges consumers who still has any of these products to throw them out immediately. And although the FDA doesn’t mention this in their guidance, you should also be able to return any of the recalled products to the place of purchase for a full refund. Just don’t eat the salad.
If you have eaten any of the recalled salads and are feeling sick, contact your health care provider to report your symptoms and receive care.
To report a complaint, illness, or serious allergic reaction to the FDA, you can:
And finally, if you have questions about the voluntary recalls, you can reach the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111, Monday—Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. PT.