FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I find information about Dole Packaged products?

Visit www.dolepackaged.com to learn more about Dole Packaged Foods products such as juices, canned products, or frozen foods. You may also call 1-800-232-8888 to contact the Dole Packaged Foods Consumer Center.

How do I contact Dole Customer Service?

Contact customer service by calling 1-800-356-3111 or emailing Dole.Consumer.Center@dole.com.

How can I use DOLE Salads in recipes?

Click here for DOLE Salad Recipes

What is the best way to store DOLE Salads?

DOLE Salads should be refrigerated at all times until serving. For optimal freshness, keep leftover salad refrigerated and closed tightly in its original DOLE Salad bag. Salad should be eaten within two days after opening. 

Can I freeze DOLE Salads?

We do not recommend freezing DOLE Salads since lettuce is very fragile and its texture would become limp and mushy.

Is it necessary to wash DOLE Salads before serving them?

DOLE Salads are thoroughly washed in purified water and are sold ready-to-eat. As a result, it is not necessary for you to wash the salad prior to eating. Nevertheless, rinsing your salad again will not damage the lettuce or vegetables in any way.

Can I still use a DOLE Salad after the "Best If Used By Date" stamped on the bag?

We do not recommend eating a salad after the "Best If Used By Date." Like all fresh vegetables, DOLE Salads have a limited shelf life (even when refrigerated), and the "Best If Used By" instructions should be observed. 

Where can I buy the dressings included with DOLE Salads?

We are very pleased that you enjoy our salad dressings. Currently, our dressings are packaged exclusively for the DOLE salad kits. The formulations (recipes) are proprietary and Dole has no plans to bottle and sell the dressings separately at this time. 

How are DOLE Salads produced in order that they remain fresh?

DOLE Salads are kept fresh through carefully controlled refrigeration at every stage of production. In addition, DOLE Salads are washed, cut, packaged and shipped in refrigerated containers within hours of harvesting. To further ensure freshness from farm to table, the salads are packaged in specially designed "breathable" bags, which allow the vegetables to maintain freshness for an extended period without the use of preservatives. This see-through bag also allows you to inspect the salad in the supermarket, and we recommend you do so in order to guarantee the freshest product on your table. 

Are there any preservatives in my DOLE Salad?

Dole's technologically advanced "breathable" salad bag naturally preserves the lettuce and vegetables without the use of preservatives. 

How do I keep the product from spoiling once it has been opened?

After the salad package has been opened, push excess air out of the package before reclosing it and store immediately in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Salad should be eaten within two days after opening for optimal freshness.

Sometimes a salad has a funny smell; what causes this odour and is it harmful?

In order to keep itself fresh, the lettuce gives off carbon dioxide, causing a slight odour. This carbon dioxide is not harmful and the odour should disappear quickly once the salad package is opened.

What causes a salad to have lettuce chunks?

Due to weather conditions, some lettuce heads grow so the leaves are held together in a very compact manner. While we do our best to cut our salad lettuce into uniform pieces, this is more challenging with seasonal compact head lettuce.

Are DOLE Salads certified as Kosher?

The DOLE Salad product is Kosher certified when the Kosher symbol appears on the front by the date code.

What standards are used to qualify the DOLE Organic Salad as organic?

To qualify for the certified organic seal, DOLE Lettuce must be grown, handled and processed without the use of synthetic fertilizers, chemical herbicides, fumigants, or unapproved pesticides on soil or produce. Land must observe a 3-year transition period that has been farmed conventionally. Products must be certified by a third party organization. The farms are required to keep detailed records of all the materials used in their growing operations.

The National Organic Program (NOP) now governs certification of farming and product practices for organic products. The NOP has now created a uniform definition of organic foods with standardized product labelling guidelines. The establishment of the program now assures consumers that they are purchasing consistent organic products, following standard guidelines.

What measures does Dole take to ensure the safety of DOLE Salads?

Dole takes extremely stringent measures to ensure the safety of its fresh-cut salads through a rigorous set of industry hygiene and sanitation standards known as HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), a method of analyzing and testing a product at every stage of preparation. Dole uses state-of-the-art refrigerated transportation technologies and constantly stays abreast of the latest in technology. As technology advances, Dole will strive to use the best and safest methods in food preparation.

Dole's processing facilities are highly hygienic environments that consistently rank among the highest in the food industry for quality and safety. In addition, Dole's state-of-the-art Soledad plant was awarded Food Engineering Magazine's "1996 Plant of the Year" honours for outstanding design and safety engineering.

Where are DOLE Salads produced?

Dole has state-of-the-art plants located in Soledad, California; Yuma, Arizona; and Springfield, Ohio. Dole's salad processing operations are situated throughout the country so that they are close to growing areas; this allows fresh-picked vegetables to be washed, cut, packaged, and transported to market within hours of harvest.

What can I do if I am unable to find my favourite DOLE Salad product?

Every effort is made to provide as wide a selection of DOLE products as possible in stores across the country. If you can't find what you are looking for, it is important to let your store manager know. Ask the manager to see if the product can be obtained from the store's warehouse. If it is not available, this is your opportunity to let the store know you would like to be able to purchase it from them. Although we would like to see all of our products carried by every store, regional preferences vary and, as a result, your favourite product may be available only in certain areas.

Do I have to wash my head of lettuce (bag of carrots, head of cauliflower, asparagus, celery, etc.) or other DOLE Fresh Vegetables before eating?

DOLE Fresh Vegetables are not sold ready-to-eat and should be washed before eating. This does not apply to DOLE Pre-cut Salads or DOLE Mini Peeled Carrots, which have already been washed and are ready-to-eat.

What is the best way to store DOLE Fresh Vegetables?

Click here for DOLE Fresh Vegetable Storage Information.

How do I freeze DOLE Fresh Vegetables?

DOLE Fresh Vegetables should be blanched in boiling water for approximately two to four minutes (2-4 minutes), depending upon the size of the vegetables. Drain and place in a pan of ice water. Chill until vegetables are cool in the center. Store DOLE Fresh Vegetables in an airtight freezer bag or container and place in your freezer for later use. We do not recommend freezing DOLE Head Lettuce or DOLE Romaine lettuce.

How can I crisp up my DOLE Celery?

DOLE Celery remains fresh for up to two weeks if kept in a plastic bag and stored in the vegetable chiller of your refrigerator (34°-40°F). DOLE Celery can be soaked in ice cold water for approximately 20 minutes to revive crispness.

What can I do if I am unable to find my favourite DOLE Fresh Vegetable product?

Every effort is made to provide as wide a selection of DOLE products as possible in stores across the country. If you can't find what you are looking for, it is important to let your store manager know. Ask the manager to see if the product can be obtained from the store's warehouse. If it is not available, this is your opportunity to let the store know you would like to be able to purchase it from them. Although we would like to see all of our products carried by every store, regional preferences vary and, as a result, your favorite product may be available only in certain areas.

How can I order DOLE Hawaiian Fresh Pineapple?

Dole contracts with Tropical Fruit Distributors to fulfill mail orders and deliver fresh pineapple to the Honolulu Airport for departing passengers.

To order fresh pineapple, please contact:

Tropical Fruit Distributors
Operations Manager
651 Ilalo Street, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 847-3234 phone
(800) 697-9100 toll free for mail orders
(808) 534-4140 fax

Is it possible to use pineapple in gelatin recipes or as a marinade?

Fresh pineapple cannot be used in gelatin recipes or as a marinade because it has a natural enzyme called "bromelain". The heat process used in canning pineapples destroys this enzyme, allowing canned pineapple to be used in a variety of recipes. Canned pineapple, in fact, works wonderfully well in gelatin recipes or as a marinade.

What type of fresh pineapple does Dole sell?

When James Dole first began his pineapple company, he experimented with many different varieties of pineapple, known then as "the king of fruit" because of the leafy crown. He ultimately chose Smooth Cayenne, a variety known for its consistent quality. This variety became the industry standard. More than a century later, the Company introduced DOLE Tropical Gold®, an extra sweet pineapple that is grown in the rich soils and ideal climates of Latin America. This popular pineapple is sweet in taste, high in vitamin C and harvested at the peak of ripeness, colour, aroma and flavour. For more facts about pineapple, visit Dole's nutrition education web site, dole superkids.

How do I tell if a DOLE Fresh Pineapple is ripe?

An old myth is that a pineapple is ripe if you can remove a leaf from the crown. This is untrue because pineapples are picked ripe and ready to eat, after approximately an 18-month growth period. The pineapple colour varies with time of year, so colour does not indicate ripeness. Look for plump fruit with a fresh aroma at the stem end and store at room temperature. For more ideas about using pineapple, visit Dole's Recipe Central.

Can I freeze DOLE Fresh Pineapple?

We do not recommend freezing fresh pineapple because it tends to lose some of its flavour. If you must freeze the pineapple for storage purposes, it can be cut and stored in an airtight plastic bag or container in its juice or syrup for up to 3 months.

How do I slice a whole pineapple?

To enjoy slices of fresh pineapple, simply twist the crown off the pineapple, cut the shell away from the fruit and slice. Or, to make fresh pineapple chunks, twist the crown off and cut the pineapple in quarters, lengthwise. Trim each end, then cut away the center strip and the fruit (as close to the shell as possible). Cut the quartered fruit into bite size pieces and enjoy!

...or try these more creative techniques:

A Fresh Pineapple Outrigger is a beautiful way to serve fresh pineapple. First, cut the pineapple in quarters, lengthwise, leaving the crown attached to the shell. Next, cut under the center core strip, between the core and the fruit. Leave the core strip attached to the shell at both ends of the strip. Working inward from the sides cut underneath the fruit close to the shell. The object is to remove the fruit from the shell, while leaving the core strip still attached. Remove the loosened fruit from the shell, cut crosswise making wedge shaped chunks. Slide the wedges back into the shell. Spread the wedges to create a zigzag or outrigger effect.

A Fresh Pineapple Boat is festive and fun to make. Start by cutting a pineapple in half, lengthwise, leaving the crown attached to the shell. Remove the fruit by cutting close to the shell with a thin, sharp knife or a curved fruit knife. Cut away the center core strip. Then cut the pineapple, and other fresh fruits like sliced bananas, oranges, apples and grapes, into bite size pieces. Mix all the fresh fruit together in the pineapple shell, sprinkle with coconut and serve!

How do I select DOLE Bananas?

Choose color according to how you want to use the bananas. Completely green or green-tipped bananas are used for cooking and broiling. Fully yellow colored bananas are great for snacking, salads or topping your cereal. Speckled peel bananas (which have a varying amount of brown spots due to ripening) are perfect for baking, blender drinks or salad dressings. For more ideas about using bananas, visit the Fruit & Vegetable Encyclopedia on Dole's nutrition education web site, dole superkids.

What is the best way to store DOLE Bananas?

DOLE Bananas should be stored at room temperature for best quality.

To speed ripening: Place bananas in a loosely closed brown paper bag with an apple. Keep the bag in a warm, dry place. Check daily until ripe.

To slow ripening: Place bananas in your refrigerator. The peel color will darken, but the fruit inside will not ripen as quickly as if it had been left at room temperature.

To freeze: Remove banana from peel and store in airtight plastic bag or container. Bananas can be frozen whole, cut or mashed for future use. Frozen bananas are great to have on hand to blend into your favorite fruit smoothies or other baked goods.

What can I do if I am unable to find my favourite DOLE Fresh Fruit product?

Every effort is made to provide as wide a selection of DOLE products as possible in stores across the country. If you can't find what you are looking for, it is important to let your store manager know. Ask the manager to see if the product can be obtained from the store's warehouse. If it is not available, this is your opportunity to let the store know you would like to be able to purchase it from them. Although we would like to see all of our products carried by every store, regional preferences vary and, as a result, your favorite product may be available only in certain areas.

Would you please send me (or could I purchase) Dole banana stickers for my class, children, collection, or myself?

Unfortunately we are unable to provide banana stickers to the many people who request them for a variety of uses and reasons. All of our banana stickers are printed in South and Central America where bananas are grown, harvested, stickered and packed. In addition, stickers (both the regular DOLE logo and those used for special promotions) are ordered to equal the quantity of product that we expect to harvest. Therefore, we do not have extra stickers available to fulfill special requests.