Dole is at at the centre of a Listeria outbreak in the U.S. and Canada, with several cases of the illness and one death thought to be linked to contaminated packaged salads.
Originating from its processing facility in Ohio, the Dole salads - also sold under the brands Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar and PC Organics - were distributed to Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, as well as more than 20 U.S. states.
The products are believed to be connected to one death in Michigan in January, and the hospitalizations of a dozen people in the U.S. and seven people in eastern Canada since September.
Earlier this month, agriculture officials in the U.S. detected Listeria in a salad bag. Production of packaged salads at the Ohio plant has been suspended. Supermarkets have been notified, and will immediately remove the affected items from their stock.
Caused by a bacteria, Listeria can lead to a serious illness called listeriosis. Particularly at risk are pregnant women and unborn or newborn children, people with compromised immune systems, as well as adults over the age of 65.
Mild symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhea, which set in a day after eating the contaminated food and can be treated with antibiotics. According to Health Canada, more severe symptoms can include "headache, poor co-ordination, seizures or neck stiffness," and the incubation period can be much longer.
Affected Dole salads are identified with the letter "A" at the beginning of the manufacturing code listed on packaging.