The Dole Salad Listeria Outbreak Is Still Making People Sick

In December 2021, Dole issued a recall on its bagged produce back over concerns of Listeria contamination, per NPR. The compromised Dole products included "garden salads, mixed greens and Caesar kits," per the CDC. Dole sold the tainted products under a number of brands, including, Ahold, Dole, HEB, Kroger, Lidl, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, Naturally Better, Nature's Promise, President's Choice, and Simply Nature.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Listeria infection stems from consuming Listeria bacteria, and it most significantly affects pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Dole initially learned of the contamination of its iceberg lettuce when the bacteria was discovered on the machinery used to harvest the produce, per the CDC.

Despite Dole's recall efforts, more individuals have fallen ill from the contaminated salad items. The CDC has advised anyone who thinks they may own products contaminated with listeria to dispose of said goods immediately.

A worsening listeria situation

According to NPR, the listeria outbreak tied to Dole has since caused 17 individuals to fall ill and resulted in two deaths. Those numbers may continue to rise, as it typically takes three or four weeks to determine if someone has fallen ill as a result of a listeria infection, the CDC notes. The numbers may also have other inaccuracies, as not everyone who falls ill needs to seek medical treatment. 

Those who have gotten sick from contact with the tainted Dole products ranged in age between 50 to 94 years old. So far, individuals from 13 states have fallen ill as a result of this listeria outbreak.

In addition to disposing of potentially affected products, consumers may want to clean their fridge after any food recall. Listeria can continue to live on surfaces, per the CDC, so it's not a bad idea to clean the inside of your fridge with hot, soapy water or a disinfecting cleaner.