Dole salads with an expiration date of June 26th are being recalled because a random sampling done by the FDA found that they were contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria symptoms are mild in healthy adults but can cause severe symptoms of food poisoning in people with weakened immune systems. Miscarriage and possible birth defects are also a symptoms of Listeria poisoning.
While there aren’t likely to be many bags of the contaminated salad around (since it’s now past its due date), that should actually be of more concern. The cause of the Listeria contamination has not been identified (or at least reported as such and fixed). Last summer during the Listeria outbreak that affected cantaloupes, identifying the source of Listeria in the supply chain was deemed critical.
The second thing to note is that it was only discovered after most potentially contaminated bags had been consumed.
Anyone with a weakened immune system, which includes pregnant women, people who already have one illness, the very old and the very young, need to be aware that summer is the peak time not just for Listeria symptoms, but for symptoms of food poisoning in general.
Avoid Listeria Symptoms:
-Wash salad before you eat it, even if it’s “pre-washed”.
-If you have a weakened immune system, heat deli meat to at least 160 degrees before eating it.
-Don’t eat fruit straight from the fridge, wash it first (again, even if it’s already been washed—Listeria thrives in your fridge’s cool temperature!).
Beat Food Poisoning:
-Be extra careful at barbecues and on picnics. The longer food stays out of the “safe” temperatures, the more chance it has to develop bacteria that can cause symptoms of food poisoning. Keep it cold, or heat it up before eating it.
-Again, at big events make sure to avoid contaminating cooked food with bacteria from raw food by cleaning plates, tongs, and anything else raw food touched. Ignoring this is one of the fastest ways to spread food poisoning symptoms!
-If you think you might have eaten something questionable, take as many probiotics as you can. Yogurt is a good source, but a probiotic supplement isn’t going to add to your discomfort if you don’t get to it before food poisoning symptoms strike. (Probiotics are thought to mitigate if not prevent symptoms).
-Support your immune system with MesoSilver® colloidal silver. It’s just as important during food poisoning season as during cold and flu season!
What are your barbecue and picnic safety tips? (Or how about a great recipe you’ll be eating this summer?)