Two new food recalls have been issued this week, both related to potential Listeria contamination. The recalls involved bagged lettuce and fresh cheese.
According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) news release on June 29, Dole Fresh Vegetables recalled 2,598 cases of bagged Romaine salad. The other release, also issued on June 29, stated New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine warned consumers in New York City, including its five boroughs, about "Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese” products made by Mexicali Cheese Corp.
Dole Fresh Vegetable recall
Dole has voluntarily recalled its Dole Hearts of Romaine product; the codes associated with the affected food are 0540N165112A or B, with Use-by date of June 26 and UPC 7143000956. Consumers can find the code and Use-by date on the upper right-hand corner of the package, and the UPC number is on the back of the bag.
This recall is noted as "precautionary" and was initiated after a random sample of the Romaine salad was collected by the FDA and tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported at this time, and no other Dole salad products are included in this recall at this time. The affected bags are now past their Use-by date and should no longer be on store shelves, but consumers should check their refrigerators; retailers are advised to check their stock in the event some of these bags are still in the store.
The bagged salad was distributed in nine U.S. states, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Consumers are advised to discard this product if they've purchased it. Consumers and retailers can also call Dole at (800) 356-3111, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (PT) Monday through Friday.
Mexicali Cheese Corp. recall
This product was sold in the New York City area by the Woodhaven, N.Y. based Mexicali Cheese Corp. and distributed regionally. This voluntary recall was initiated after an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services took a routine sample and found Listeria contamination.
The product is sold under various names: Mexicali Queso Fresco Mexicano, Mexican Style Fresh Cheese; or Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese. The cheese comes in a 14 oz. plastic tub with the plant number 36-0128 stamped on the package along with a code of 071512. Any package with this code should not be eaten by consumers.
Additional samples of the cheese will be taken to "verify that the product is free of pathogens", the FDA said in its statement.
In May, Digital Journal had reported on several other brands of bagged salads that had been recalled due to the same type of contamination risk.
Listeria based illnesses can be serious, especially in children, older adults, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.