Dole Stock Plummets Amid Salad Recall — What Is Listeria and Who Was Affected?

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Dole Fresh Vegetables announced a recall of certain salads due to a possible health risk from Listeria, which sent the stock tumbling. On the morning of Dec 29, the stock was down 1.37%. The company, which went public in July, saw its stock tumbling 16.7% over the past three months, according to MarketWatch.

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The recall is for all Dole-branded and private label packaged salads processed at its Bessemer City, NC and Yuma, AZ processing facilities, according to a company announcement on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website. Dole said that products subject to the voluntary recall are identified by a product lot code beginning with either the letter “N” or “Y” in the upper right-hand corner of the package, and will have a “Best if Used By” date between November 30, 2021, and January 8, 2022.

Consumers who still have any of these products in their refrigerators are urged not to consume the product and to discard it immediately.

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Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women, according to the announcement.

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“The FDA, along with the CDC and our state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections potentially linked to Dole packaged salad,” Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response, said in a statement. “Dole has voluntarily recalled packaged salads produced at two of their facilities, and consumers are being advised not to eat, sell or serve any of the recalled products. It’s important to understand that this is an ongoing investigation, and should further products be implicated, the FDA will take steps to alert the public.

Yiannas added that to date, this outbreak has been associated with 16 illnesses reported from 13 states. Two product samples from two Dole facilities have been found to match the outbreak strain.

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Consumers can contact the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111 with any questions about the recall, or view the full list of recalled products here.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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