Are you a buyer of pre-mixed, pre-washed bagged salad living in the Northeast or Midwest? You'd better go check your fridge. Because on Wednesday, produce giant Dole issued a recall on its American Blend bagged salad in 10 states in those two regions, after the Tennessee Department of Health found listeria bacteria in one sample.
According to Food Safety News, the recall applies to "12 oz. bags coded A275208A or B, with a use-by date of October 17 and UPC 7143000933," which were distributed in "Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin."
So far, no actual illnesses have been linked to this lettuce. But if you think you may eaten Dole American Blend in any of those 10 states, and you're exhibiting any of the classic symptoms of listeriosis -- fever, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea -- it would probably be wise to see a doctor.
If nothing else, the recall underscores the risk posed by bagged salad. In 2012 alone, there have been at least three other major recalls of bagged salad, two of them by Dole itself. They are considered one of the products most likely to cause food-related illness -- largely because greens are grown directly in the soil, and some pathogens can only be killed by heat or strong detergents, not just water.