The Reason Whole Foods' Premade Red Lentil Dal Meal Is Being Recalled

Bakkavor USA has issued a voluntary recall of its Whole Foods Market brand premade, prepackaged Red Lentil Dal. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one of the ingredients in the meal, pickled curry cauliflower, may be potentially contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. Listeria is a bacterial infection that can result in serious health risks for the very young, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems. For most, however, it only causes short-term illness with symptoms such as headaches, fever, abdominal distress, and diarrhea.

Fortunately, the FDA notes, no illnesses have been reported as of yet, despite the fact that the Red Lentil Dal was widely distributed to Whole Foods Market stores across the U.S. According to Bakkavor USA, which is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, investigations have yet to determine how the potential contamination may have occurred. The ingredient in question, pickled curry cauliflower, is made by yet another company, Doux South Specialties, and it was from their recommendation that the recall announcement was made. Bakkavor, for their part, immediately ceased production and distribution of the Red Lentil Dal meal pending further information.

What to do if you have purchased this product

The Whole Foods Market brand Red Lentil Dal recall specifically refers to a product sold in 12-ounce plastic trays with the UPC 1 95515 02394 8 and the use-by dates of April 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, and 26, 2022 (via Food Safety News). If you have purchased this product, the FDA states you may return it to the store of purchase with a valid receipt and receive a full refund. Under no circumstance, obviously, should you consume it.

This is the second listeria-related recall for Whole Foods Market within the space of a single week. The FDA has also announced the voluntary recall of Alpine Fresh's Hippie Organics French Beans, sold in Whole Foods stores in five states (Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Maryland), due to a potential listeria contamination. 

Although no illnesses have been reported from either recall, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes that listeria symptoms can occur as much as 70 days after exposure. If you believe you may be at risk, the CDC recommends telling your doctor and seeking medical care, especially if you are in one of the vulnerable groups for this infection (pregnant women, newborns, seniors, or those with weakened immune systems).