Dole recalls contaminated lettuce
  • Mon, 07/02/2012 - 3:05pm

When preparing your Fourth of July feast this week, avoid making salads with Dole’s listeria-tainted Heart of Romaine bagged lettuce.


Dole Fresh Vegetables recalled 2,598 cases of Dole Heart of Romaine bagged salad from nine U.S. States, including Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Maryland, North Caroline, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia after the FDA’s random sample tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.


Although the lettuce is six days past its use-by date, Dole Fresh Vegetables customer service representatives advise retailers to double check their shelves for tainted lettuce. The recalled product is marked with code 0540N165112A or B with a June 26 use-by date, both of which can be found in the upper right corner of the package, and UPC barcode 7143000956.


Thus far, no reports of foodborne illness have surfaced and no other Dole Fresh Vegetable bagged salads have been recalled.


According to the FDA, Listeria monocytogenes is a common bacterium found in the environment that can infect refrigerated, ready-to-eat food products, foods processed or packaged in unhygienic conditions and vegetables that have been contaminated due to the soil or fertilizer.


The bacterium causes the illness listerial gastroenteritis, which occurs most commonly in pregnant women and their fetuses, newborns, the elderly and individuals with a weakened immune system.


The FDA states that the bacterium can cause mild to severe listerial gastroenteritis. Mild cases include symptoms such as:

  • Fever and chills
  • Aching muscles
  • Diarrhea
  • Unsettled stomach


Severe cases include the symptoms:

  • Stiff neck, headache, confusion (symptoms of meningitis)
  • Loss of balance
  • Seizures
  • And, in some cases, death.


According to MedicineNet, 30 percent of listerial gastroenteritis cases occur in pregnant women, and can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth or an infection in the newborn.


Most cases of listerial gastroenteritis clear on their own after about a week, but an intravenous antibiotic treatment can be administered in serious cases.



About the Contributor

Jessica Davids
I report on FDA developments and new pharmaceutical launches, risks, and safety concerns.

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