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Dole announces voluntary recall of salad kits for potential listeria contamination

Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of a “limited number” of Dole-branded and private label salad kits due to potential cross contamination with cheeses recalled for possible listeria contamination.

A company recall notice posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website and Dole’s company website states that the salad kits were recalled because they were processed on the same line as a cheese product from Rizo-Lopez Foods, which had previously been recalled for the “possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes.”

“This recall notification is being issued due to the potential for cross-contamination of cheese contained in certain masterpacks by cheese potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes from our packaged cheese supplier,” the Monterey, California-based company wrote in its recall announcement. “At this time, we are unaware of any specific illnesses associated with our products, or by other purchasers of their recalled cheese.”

PHOTO: In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Dole Southwest salad kit is shown.

In this Oct. 18, 2017, file photo, Dole Southwest salad kit is shown.

Business Wire via AP, FILE

The recalled salad kits were sold in 25 states as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec.

Eight salad kit products are affected by the recall, including the Dole Chopped Kit Avocado Ranch, Premium Kit Southwest Salad, Cajun Ranch Chopped Kit, Premium Kit Endless Summer and Chopped Salad Kit Bacon Ranch Crunch, among others.

The products have “Best if used by” dates between Feb. 3 and 21. Click here for specific “use by” dates, lot codes, UPC numbers and specific product names and details, as well as photos of the recalled items.

PHOTO: In this Jan. 29, 2021, file photo, Dole Endless Summer salad kit is shown.

In this Jan. 29, 2021, file photo, Dole Endless Summer salad kit is shown.

Business Wire via AP, FILE

Dole has advised customers in possession of any recalled products to dispose of them immediately.

“Dole retailers have been advised to check store shelves and warehouse inventories to confirm that no recalled product is available for purchase by consumers,” the company added, stating that it is “coordinating closely with regulatory officials” on the matter.

Dole Fresh Vegetables did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Customers and retailers with questions about the recall may contact the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time.

Dole’s announcement stems from an earlier recall issued by Rizo-López Foods, which voluntary recalled all cheeses and other dairy products made in its Modesto facility “because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes,” the company said in a press release on Feb. 5.

The company said in the release that the recall was being carried out with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which shared the company announcement on its website the following day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a food safety alert for recalled cheeses, yogurts and sour creams potentially linked to a multistate outbreak of listeria that has sickened 26, hospitalized 23 and left two people dead.

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In a statement provided to ABC News, Edwin Rizo, CEO and owner of Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc., said this was the first time “any product that we manufacture has been linked to a foodborne illness.”

“As soon as we were aware of this, we made the immediate decision to stop production and voluntarily recall all our products manufactured in our facility. We are working hard and diligently to find the root cause of the problem and take corrective actions to prevent it from happening again. The health and well-being of our customers is our top priority,” the statement read.

According to the CDC, listeria can cause severe illness “when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body” after a person consumes contaminated food. Those at higher risk include pregnant people, those aged 65 or older, or anyone who has a weakened immune system, the CDC says.

In 2021, Dole recalled all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at its facilities in Bessemer City, North Carolina and Yuma, Arizona after the FDA said a random analysis of packages of a Dole-branded garden salad from the two facilities found samples of a strain of Listeria monocytogenes.

ABC News’ Kelly McCarthy contributed to this report

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