January 16, 2018

Brands in Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak: Happy Apple, Kroger, Karm’l Dapple, Merb’s Candies, Carnival, Kitchen Cravings

The brands of commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples involved in the multistate caramel apple Listeria monocytogenes outbreak as of January 6, 2014 include Happy Apple, Kroger, California Snack Foods Karm’l Dapple, Merb’s Candies, Carnival, and Kitchen Cravings. The first four brands have been recalled; the second two were mentioned in the Minnesota Department of Health original outbreak press release.

Caramel ApplesThirty-two people have been sickened in this outbreak, 31 of those patients have been hospitalized. There have been six deaths related to this outbreak, and ten illnesses relating to a pregnancy. In addition, three children have developed serious complications. Attorney Fred Pritzker, who represents clients sickened by this bacteria, said, “This outbreak is already an absolute tragedy and I expect the numbers of injured and killed to go up.”

If you purchased any of these brands of caramel apples this fall and winter, whether they were plain or fancy with nuts and sprinkles, do not eat them. If you still have them in your home, discard in a double bagged container or return to the place of purchase for a refund. Then wash your hands well with warm water and soap and clean out the storage area with a solution of one tablespoon bleach in a gallon of water.

If you ate any of these brands of caramel apples, you must monitor yourself for the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning for 70 days from the date you ate the product. Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning symptoms can begin as early as 3 days after exposure, but the illness has a potentially long incubation period.

The symptoms of listeriosis include fever, stiff neck, headache, flu-like symptoms, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Confusion and convulsions are more serious symptoms. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can pose a serious threat to pregnant women, who can suffer stillbirth and miscarriage as a result of their infections, even though their illness may be very mild and similar to the flu. If you do become ill with these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible for treatment.

Listeria meningitis is a complication of listeriosis. Three children have suffered this illness in this outbreak. This is an infection of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Once symptoms of this illness begin, the infection can develop quickly; they include high fever, headache, and stiff neck, along with vomiting, discomfort looking at bright lights, sleepiness, and confusion. Any person who develops this illness must be treated quickly by medical professionals.

Infection of the newborn baby is another complication of a Listeria monocytogenes infection for pregnant women. Symptoms of listeriosis in babies are inactivity, irritability, seizures, vomiting, or poor feeding.

The government recommends that the public avoid eating any brand of commercially prepared prepackaged caramel apples until further notice. New recalls have been issued each week in this outbreak timeline. The product is seasonal and no longer available in stores, but you may have some in your home. If you do, throw them out and follow instructions for cleaning above.

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