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Dole baby spinach recalled over listeria concerns

Dole brand Baby Spinach with Tender Reds has been recalled due to listeria risk.
Dole brand Baby Spinach with Tender Reds has been recalled due to listeria risk. CFIA handout / Global News

Check your fridge: Dole brand Baby Spinach with Tender Reds has been recalled due to concerns over listeria contamination.

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The 142-gram packages of spinach under recall were sold in P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and possibly across Canada.

The recalled product comes in a hard plastic shell packaging with a best before date reading 18-Au-04, with time codes starting with W202011, and UPC 0 71430 06069 8.

No illnesses have been linked to the recalled product. Canadians are urged to throw out any recalled product or to return it to the store where it was purchased.

The spinach may not look or smell off, but a health risk remains. Listeria can cause listeriosis, which can make people very sick and in severe cases even cause death. Symptoms include vomiting, nausea, muscle aches and neck stiffness.

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WATCH: What Listeria is and how to avoid it

Click to play video: 'Ask The Doctor: What is Listeria and how to avoid it' Ask The Doctor: What is Listeria and how to avoid it
Ask The Doctor: What is Listeria and how to avoid it – Sep 28, 2016

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk than others.

Listeria monocytogenes occurs naturally in soil and water and can be carried by animals. Washing vegetables and fruits along with proper food handling are some ways to prevent illness from listeria.

The recall was triggered during testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and a food safety investigation is underway.

This isn’t the first time Dole has had to deal with a listeria issue. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation against Dole Foods Co. for a listeria outbreak that was linked to four deaths and dozens of illnesses.

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READ MORE: ‘I thought I was going to die’: Years later the lingering impact of listeriosis

In that case, a recall was issued for packaged salads produced at a Springfield, Ohio, processing plant; PC Organics products were also part of that recall.

Fourteen cases of listeria in Canada — including three fatalities as a result of the illness — were linked to the outbreak, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported at the time.

This recall follows a recent E.coli outbreak associated with romaine lettuce that was linked to at least five deaths in the U.S. and multiple illnesses in Canada. That outbreak has since been declared over.

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