Serious news for salad lovers — here’s why you need to check your Dole salad packages, STAT

Chipotle may still be dealing with repercussions of its multi-state E.coli breakout, but now it looks like another food producer in the spotlight for food contamination.

Dole Food Company has issued a recall of its salads due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. “Products subject to the voluntary withdrawal are identified with a product code beginning with the letter ‘A’ in the upper right-hand corner of the package,” the company wrote on Facebook. The contamination has not affected the company’s “fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and packaged salads from Dole’s other processing facilities (with product codes beginning with the letters “B” or “N”).”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the contaminated Dole products—which seem to have originated in a processing facility in Springfield, Ohio—have sickened 12 people across six states and killed one person since July 2015. Listeria monocytogenes has not been found at any other Dole processing facilities.

So, what is listeria? It is a serious infection caused by the listeria monocytogenes bacteria and is particularly dangerous to the elderly, adults with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and newborns, who can develop meningitis if exposed to the bacteria at birth. Symptoms range from fever and headaches to stiff neck, muscles aches, and fatigue. Once the presence of listeria is confirmed, the primary treatment option is antibiotics.

The CDC is encouraging consumers to see if they’ve purchased contaminated salad. If that’s the case, throw away the salad, thoroughly wash the refrigerator drawer that contained the salad with hot water and soap, and wash any surfaces and utensils that have come in contact with the salad. And be sure to wash your hands, too.

If you think you might have ingested the bacterium (and are experiencing symptoms), consult a physician. If you’re feeling fine, you’re probably fine, but be sure to keep an eye out for symptoms, which can present themselves up to two months after the point of infection.

(Image via Dole)

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