It's safe to buy Dole salad once again.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the listeria outbreak that was linked to the brand's packaged salads has been resolved.
The CDC updated its website with the following message to alert consumers: "This outbreak is over. Stay up to date on food recalls and outbreaks to avoid getting sick from eating contaminated food."
The recall, which affected several varieties of Dole Fresh Vegetables packaged salads, was first reported in December 2021. At the time, the company recalled 180 products after discovering that several random samples of salad products from two facilities contained strains of Listeria monocytogenes.
The disease-causing bacteria can cause a range of symptoms including headache, fever, muscle aches, confusion and diarrhea, according to the CDC. In some cases, being infected with listeria may also result in pregnancy loss or premature birth. People over 65 or those with weakened immune systems may also experience severe infections of the bloodstream or brain.
The same month, Fresh Express also issued a voluntary recall of 225 types of salad products sold in several states and parts of Canada because of possible listeria contamination.
In January, a CDC report revealed that two people had died and 13 others had been hospitalized amid the listeria outbreak. The agency acknowledged that some of the cases could be linked to the recent recall of packaged salads, but also added that the wider listeria outbreak they were investigating dated back to 2014.
“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and this outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the CDC noted in a release at the time. “This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria.”
In its web posting on Monday, the CDC revealed that the number of hospitalizations had increased to 16 and the number of deaths had increased to three since it released its January report. Overall, there were 18 reported illnesses in 13 states.