June 29, 2022

Happy Apple Caramel Apples Recall, Listeria Risk

Happy Apple Company issued a recall of Happy Apple Brand caramel apples, two days after a family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Safeway alleging their loved one died from a Listeria infection after eating a caramel apple. The company was notified by one of its suppliers, Bidart Brothers, that there may be a connection between an outbreak of Listeria infections (listeriosis) and the apples Bidart Brothers supplied to the Happy Apples California facility.

Caramel-AppleThe recalled Happy Apple caramel apples have a best use by date between August 25th and November 23rd, 2014. Happy Apple caramel apples are sold individually and in three packs, four packs and eight packs. The best-used-by date is on the front of the label.

The recalled caramel apples were available for retail sale through grocery, discount and club stores, generally in the produce section. They were distributed to retailers in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin. We are aware of 4 stores where the recalled apples were sold: Safeway, Cub Foods, Kwik Trip and Mike’s Discount Food. If you know of other stores, let us know.

Safeway pulled prepackaged caramel apples off of store shelves, but did not issue a recall. This is the first official recall of caramel apples issued during this outbreak.

The Listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples has, to date, sickened 29 people in 10 states: Arizona (4), California (1), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).

Happy Apples ceased our operations at the end of October as part of their normal, seasonal shut down and the caramel apples produced are no longer available in stores.

Listeria is an extremely dangerous pathogen that can cause meningitis, sepsis and death. Five people who were part of this outbreak died. The CDC is reporting that listeriosis contributed to three of these deaths, and possibly to a fourth death. One death was not related to the listeriosis infection, according to the CDC.

The CDC is warning consumers not to eat any prepackaged caramel apples until more is known about the source of the outbreak.

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