October 19, 2019

Don’t Eat Prepackaged Caramel Apples, Health Officials Warn, After Listeria Kills 5

A deadly Listeria outbreak has prompted federal and state health officials to warn consumers not to eat any prepackaged, commercially produced caramel apples, until more information becomes available.

Caramel-AppleTwenty eight people in 10 states have been sickened by the contaminated apples. Five people have died.

In Minnesota, two people died and two others were hospitalized after eating caramel apples purchased from local grocery stores. The nine other states reporting illnesses include: Arizona (4), California (1), Missouri (5), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2).

Sold under the brand names Carnival and Kitchen Cravings, the contaminated apples were sold in Minnesota at Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods. A store list for other states has not been released yet.

The apples, sold plain and with toppings such as nuts, chocolate, and sprinkles, are no longer being sold in stores, but anyone who has already purchased one should not eat it.

Listeria is a rare and deadly foodborne bacteria. Symptoms of illness can appear within three days of eating the contaminated food or take as long as 70 days to develop.

Pregnant women are at special risk, as Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn baby. Nine of the illnesses in this outbreak are related to pregnant women and their newborn babies. Others at heightened risk include children, seniors and those with compromised immune systems.  Anyone who has symptoms should contact their health care provider.

This post was updated December 19, 3:45.

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