Wednesday, October 17, 2012


This has not been a good six months for Dole Food Co: four bagged salad recalls! It hasn't been good for people who eat bagged salads either. That is, if they want to stay healthy.

In April, 2012, Dole issued a recall on 756 cases of bagged salad, because of possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria. The recall included bagged Seven Lettuces salads distributed in 15 states.

Soon after, in July, it had a bagged romaine lettuce recall. Some 2,600 cases of bagged Hearts of Romaine that had been distributed to several states had to be recalled because of possible Listeria contamination.

And then in August, Dole Italian Blend bagged salads had to be being recalled because testing turned up Listeria bacteria again. Some 1,039 cases of bagged salad had to be recalled.

I may have missed some. But, look, that's enough bacterial contamination in six months even for a big company with huge production. So much for safety! And by the way, there have been other Dole product recalls as well recently, such as for mangoes, because of Salmonella.

Now there is a fourth Dole bagged salad recall: it is recalling some of its bagged salads because of Listeria being found. This time it's Dole American Blend salad in 12 oz. bags, coded A275208A or B, with Use-by date of October 17 and UPC 7143000933.

Maybe Dole should take a look at its plants and processes. And maybe - as my book, The Safe Food Handbook argues, bagged fresh produce is not all that safe after all. Even triple washing doesn't always work. Somtimes it may even add contaminants. But how many of us make salads totally from scratch any more? Perhaps it is time we went back to "vintage salads." (You may also want to glance at my Feb. 2011 post on: "What's Really in Bagged Salads.")

To your good health,

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