Dole Food Company, one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables, has announced that it is facing a ransomware attack that has impacted its operations.

There are few details at this time and the company is currently investigating “the extent of the incident”, noting that the impact is limited.

The company employs approximately 38,000 people and has annual sales of $6.5 billion. In a statement On its website, Dole says it has already engaged with third-party experts who help with the remediation and security of affected systems.

Law enforcement has also been notified of the incident.

Although Dole called the impact “limited”, a note Facebook leak by a Texas grocery store indicates that the food giant has been forced to close its production plants in North America

It appears that Dole has also halted shipments to grocery stores.

“Dole Food Company is in the midst of a cyberattack, and [we] subsequently shut down our systems across North America,” the memo reads.

“Our factories are closed for the day and all shipments are on hold,” the company said in the notification to its partners.

Dole memo sent to US grocery stores
Dole memo sent to US grocery stores (Stewart’s)

Consumers have been complaining about shortages of prepackaged Dole salads on store shelves for more than a week now. Although the company did not reveal when the attack happened, it is likely that the shortage was caused by this ransomware attack.

The note sent to stores mentions that Dole will implement its crisis management protocol which includes the “Manual Backup Program”. This means the company could return to manual operations, which should resume production and shipments, albeit at a slower pace.

BleepingComputer contacted Dole to learn more about the cyberattack, but the company declined to provide comment outside of the public statement.

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