Blame A Cyberattack For The Bagged Salad Shortage

Security issues at Dole may be to blame for a halt in the pre-packaged salad industry, CNN reported on February 22. This is unlike previous lettuce shortages, such as the one caused by crop disease on California farms. According to Parade, the previous 2022 shortages were made even worse due to Covid-19-related supply chain issues and unusually high autumnal temperatures. It was a perfect storm that led to single heads of lettuce being sold for prices upwards of $9.

As a result of this, fast food chains had to warn customers that lettuce may be off the menu at their local stores. Per Business Insider, messages plagued the apps of both Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A cautioning of a potential lack in lettuce. Panera and Subway spoke to the news outlet to confirm possible shortages at their establishments as well. The shortages didn't just affect businesses, of course. With prices increasing 400% since 2019, the average grocery shopper also had a tough time getting their hands on a head. Luckily, this more recent shortage doesn't seem like it'll take nearly as long to clear up, though it may still cause temporary problems.

North American production has been shut down

North American production of bagged salad has been slowed down following a cyberattack at Dole Food Company, according to CNN. For the last few days, shoppers noticed the absence of these salad bags from shelves, which led to the company reaching out to news outlets and retailers alike. "The company has notified law enforcement about the incident and are cooperating with their investigation. While continuing to investigate the scope of the incident, the impact to Dole operations has been limited," a spokesperson for the company told CNN. They also confirmed a nationwide breach of security was to blame for the incident.

One Twitter user wasn't quite sure how an incident such as this could result in a shortage. "Really Dole couldn't figure out how to get salad kits bagged and into stores without a computer? Good grief," they wrote. Others were just upset they'd be missing out on bagged salad for a bit. "Ok now a ransomware attack on Dole Foods? Prepackaged Salads Shortage? Wife is going to lose her s–t. Thanks a lot," read one tweet. Hopefully, Dole is able to work with authorities and figure out the issue in due time.