I am sure by now most of you have heard about the big Dole salad recall due to an outbreak of Listeria (see the official CDC report). One person has reported died while 12 more have gotten sick as far as what has been recorded. What you might not realize is that this recall goes beyond just what says “Dole” on the packaging. There are store brands that are actually processed by Dole, which you might never know by just looking at the package. For example, the salads Whole Foods says under their “365” or “Whole Foods Market” label are actually most Earthbound salads or in some cases Organic Girl. I have witnessed Trader Joe brand salads come out of an Earthbound box. This is why you need to pay attention to the entire list, even if what is in your fridge doesn’t say Dole.
What Store Brands are Recalled Dole Salads
First when looking at any package see if it was produced at the Dole processing plant in Springfield, Ohio. The manufacturing code will begin with the letter “A” (most likely located underneath the date). I would toss out anything that says it’s from Springfield, Ohio. The brand name also effected besides the Dole name include (this list is accurate to the best of my knowledge, if you are in doubt, throw it out):
The Little Salad Bar
President’s Choice Organics
So what stores carry these brands?
Kroger (carries Fresh Selections and Simple Truth)
Walmart (carries Marketside)
ALDI (carries the Little Salad Bar brand)
Check your fridge if you have purchased any packaged salads from these stores. These store don’t produce these brands themselves, they are done for them by Dole, so this isn’t a reason to blame the stores themselves or be concerned about other products they sell. You can still shop there (although these 3 stores are probably where I spend the least amount of my grocery dollars, but that’s me!)
Various Spartan stores carries Spartan Fresh Selections, but I am not sure if that is the same as the Kroger one. Again look for the Springfield, Ohio processing plant listed on the package or that letter “A” for the manufacturing code.
President’s Choice Organics is a Canadian brand available at various stores in Canada.
How Worried Should You Be?
It’s unfortunate that these things happen. And they make big news when they do. Still not to take anything lightly the odds of you getting sick eating something you bought into the grocery store are much lower than the odds of being injured in a car accident on the way to the grocery store. So I don’t think there is a reason to be super paranoid. Whenever I see a recall like this, if I have any product (never buy Dole salad myself) then I will throw it out. I can understand if people are scared. No one wants to get sick from salad or anything else they bought at a store. When we buy that food we trust that it will be safe for us. I still believe nearly all of the time it is. These cases happen from time to time, but only make up a small portion of all the things that are sold in stores across the country every single day. If you still uneasy I understand. It’s another reason for growing your own food. For peace of mind, you watched it grow, you harvested it, you were a part of the entire process from seed to harvest. Salad greens are easy to grow in the milder weather of spring and fall. Or look into a good local source where you can even visit their farm and see for yourself. Without piece of mind it makes it hard to eat a piece of anything. Do what you need to get that.
Nothing is 100% safe, but I don’t believe we have to live in fear.
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