January 30, 2015

FDA Inspectors Found Listeria, Food Safety Violations at Wholesome Soy


The investigation of the deadly bean sprout Listeria outbreak began with a routine inspection by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The outbreak, which began last summer was, was linked to bean sprouts from Wholesome Soy in Chicago. Five people in Michigan and Illinois were sickened. Two of them died. On August 12, the FDA went to Wholesome Soy’s Chicago facility for a routine inspection that would last through September 3, 2014. They found Listeria in sprouts  and in irrigation water. After whole genome sequencing tests revealed that the Listeria strains found at Wholesome Soy were highly related to the strain isolated from five people who became ill, FDA investigators returned to the plant. According to an inspection report, they found again found food safety violations … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Lawsuit Filed in New Mexico


National food safety law firm PritzkerOlsen, P.A. filed a lawsuit for a mother and baby sickened in the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to caramel apples. In late October of 2014, a member of Cathy Jone’s family purchased several prepackaged caramel apples from the Smith’s store located at 4016 Louisiana Boulevard Northeast, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Cathy Jones, pregnant at the time, ate one. On November 7, she began to feel ill. On November 8, her son was born several months prematurely. The baby was diagnosed with Listeria monocytogenes. He stayed in the hospital neonatal intensive care unit for over four weeks. Health officials from the New Mexico Department of Health performed pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) testing on the sample of Listeria monocytogenes … [Read more...]

Listeria at Bidart Packing Plant Triggers Huge Apple Recall


Listeria found at Bidart Brothers packing plant in Shafter, Calif. has triggered a recall for all Granny Smith and Gala apples packed at the facility during 2014. Consumers should not eat the recalled apples as they risk serious illness if they do. These apples are linked to an 11-state Listeria outbreak that has sickened 32 people, killing six of them. The apples were sold under a number of brand names including Granny's Best and Big B. Consumers who have purchased Granny Smith or Gala apples recently and are not sure of the brand names should check with the store where they purchased them to see if they came from Bidart. Up until now, consumers have been warned only about Bidart apples used to make caramel apples. This recall is for all Granny Smith and Gala apples packed at the … [Read more...]

Missouri Caramel Apple Listeria Probe Intensifies


In Missouri, where Listeria in caramel apples has sickened five people, an investigation into the source of the outbreak has intensified. State health officials are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discover the source of the problem and the scope of distribution of the caramel apples. So far, the list of stores in Missouri that sold prepackaged, commercially prepared caramel apples that may have been contaminated with Listeria includes Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, and Merb’s Candies. None of these stores is still selling the recalled caramel apples, but symptoms of a Listeria infection, which include fever, stiff neck, muscle aches and gastrointestinal issues, can take as long as 70 days to develop. All … [Read more...]

Minnesota’s Key Role in Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

Minnesota caramel apple Listeria

Minnesota has played a key role in the investigation of the caramel apple Listeria outbreak. The 11-state outbreak, which has sickened 32 people killing six of them, includes four Minnesotans, two of whom died. Minnesota health officials were the first to identify brand names of caramel apples linked to the outbreak and make public the stores where they were sold. Those efforts have helped to unravel the mystery of a first-of-its-kind outbreak. Several weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered the outbreak through PulseNet, a national subtyping network of public health agencies that its coordinates. When patients are diagnosed with a foodborne bacterial infection, state health departments perform a DNA “fingerprinting” test, called pulsed-field gel … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak Ends 1 Pregnancy in Tragedy

Listeria Lawyer

The caramel apple Listeria outbreak has ended one pregnancy in tragedy with a fetal loss now among the 10 illnesses in this outbreak related to pregnancy.  Three of New Mexico’s five cases are newborn boys who developed infections in the womb after their mothers ate contaminated caramel apples. Along with older people and those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women are at high risk for listeriosis. In fact, a pregnant women is 10 times more likely than the general population to contract a Listeria infection. If she does, the infection can pass to her fetus causing miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, listeriosis or Listeria meningitis in the infant, or death. "These cases are so sad. And they are far too common," said Fred Pritzker, a food safety attorney who has … [Read more...]

FDA: Bidart Brothers Recalled Granny Smith Apples Linked to Listeria Outbreak


It's been two weeks since the multistate Listeria outbreak linked to prepackaged, commercially prepared caramel apples was announced. The outbreak has now sickened 32 people in 11 states. Six deaths have been reported. As details of traceback investigations into the source of the outbreak have emerged, a link to apples produced by Bidart Brothers of Bakersfield, Calif. has been established. But the company has never issued a recall. At least not publicly. In its December 31 update on the outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Bidart Brothers has issued two recalls. "On December 22, 2014, Bidart Bros. issued a recall of Granny Smith apples it sold in 2014 to those customers known to produce caramel apples.  Then, on December 24, 2014, Bidart Bros. notified all … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Lawsuit, 3 Listeria Recalls and Bidart Brothers Apples

Caramel Apple Listeria Lawyer

An outbreak of Listeria infections has prompted three recalls of prepackaged caramel apple products, all connected to Bidart Brothers, an apple supplier in California. The first caramel apple lawsuit was filed in CA, but, according to Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker, others are sure to follow in the 9 other states where people have been sickened: Arizona (4), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). The most recent recall was issued by Merb's Candies of St. Louis, MO. Yesterday the company announced a recall of Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples because they were made with apples supplied by Bidart Brothers that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. These products were sold by Merb's to St. … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Prompts Happy Apple Caramel Apples Recall

Caramel Apple Listeria Lawyer

A wrongful death lawsuit and Listeria outbreak has prompted Happy Apple Company to recall caramel apples with a best use by date between August 25th and November 23rd, 2014. The recall was issued on Christmas Eve. The Wrongful Death Lawsuit According to the Complaint (a document filed with the court), in late October, 2014, Shirlee Frey went to the Safeway store in Felton, California. While there she purchased a prepackaged caramel apple and later ate it. About a week later, she began to feel ill. On December 2, 2014, the family was informed that Mrs. Frey was suffering from literiosis (a Listeria infection). She died that day. The listeriosis wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mrs. Frey's family on December 22, 2014. The Happy Apple Caramel Apples Recall On … [Read more...]

From Caramel Apples to Sprouts, Listeria Recalls and Outbreaks in 2014

Caramel Apple Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak

From caramel apples to soybean sprouts, Listeria made its way into a number of foods this year. Sometimes, there were recalls, other times there were outbreaks of illness. Every Listeria outbreak this year included fatalities. During 2014 a variety of foods were recalled for Listeria contamination. They include: cheese, ice cream, bagged salad, peanut butter, salsa, spreads, mangos, walnuts, crab meat, egg salad, smoked salmon, vending machine sandwiches, peaches and other stone fruits, caramel apples, bean sprouts, yogurt, anchovies and caramel apples. In some cases, illnesses were reported in association with eating food contaminated with Listeria. There have been four multistate Listeria outbreaks this year. All of them included fatalities. Listeria illnesses have prompted a … [Read more...]

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