Dole Listeria Outbreak: 5 Things You Need To Know To Stay Safe

Toni Matthews

If you're a salad lover reading up on the Dole listeria outbreak, you are no doubt very concerned about the packaged salad that may be sitting in your refrigerator. Before you panic, it's best to know a few essential facts about the ongoing listeria problem. Here is everything you need to do to avoid being affected by the Dole listeria outbreak -- and what to do if you're afraid the problem is close to home.

— KGUN9 On Your Side (@kgun9) January 23, 2016

The FDA announced a series of recalls on Friday. This includes voluntary recalls from Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 23, 2016

You should also be aware that listeria a very tough germ. It can thrive in very cold conditions whereas other germs would die. It's often found in processing plants and unless great care is taken to get rid of it, the bacteria will survive the trip to the grocery store, continue to flourish among the chilled salad packages, and have no problem thriving while in your refrigerator.

— AAPCC (@AAPCC) May 6, 2015

The packaged items linked to the outbreak can be identified via the "A" at the beginning of the manufacturing codes found on the packages.

— CTV Calgary (@CTVCalgary) January 23, 2016

According to the CDC, 12 people have been hospitalized thus far in connection with the listeria outbreak. One person from Michigan died from listeriosis. Those most vulnerable to disease brought on by this bacteria are senior citizens, newborns, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. HIV/AIDs, cancer, diabetes, and alcohol abuse can also increase safety risks associated with listeria.

— Global News Toronto (@globalnewsto) January 23, 2016

Both taking the time to carefully consider what produce you buy and practicing sanitary habits can go a long way towards protecting you from listeria and other bacteria outbreaks.

— Houston News (@abc13houston) January 22, 2016

Also, remember to use common sense and sanitary habits when dealing with produce. It can keep you healthy and even save your life!

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]