June 24, 2019

If You Purchased Happy Apple Caramel Apples, Here’s What to Do

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been linked to commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples and has sickened dozens of people. Five people have died in connection with this outbreak. Brands that may be associated with this outbreak include Carnival and Kitchen Cravings apples sold in Minnesota, and Happy Apple caramel apples sold in various states.

Caramel ApplesHappy Apple issued a recall for all of these caramel apples with a best by date between August 25 and November 23, 2014. Those apples are no longer available in stores, but they do have a shelf life of up to a month. Consumers may still have them in their homes. The recalled apples were sold in 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, and Wisconsin.

If you purchased those apples, the FDA has sound advice. Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see if you have any commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples. If you do, place them in a bag, seal it, and discard. Then wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for a least 20 seconds. Wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards, countertops, and utensils that may have come in contact with any commercially prepared caramel apple with a mild bleach solution.

That solution should contain 1 tablespoon of bleach in 1 gallon of hot water. Dry the surfaces with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not previously been used.

If you ate a commercially prepared caramel apple this fall, monitor yourself for the symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, for 70 days. That’s how long it can take for the illness to appear after exposure.

Those symptoms include flu-like fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, nausea and diarrhea, loss of balance, and confusion. If you do get sick, see your doctor immediately. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to this bacteria, but may only have a mild illness. Listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and infection in the newborn baby, so it’s important to see your doctor and get treatment as soon as possible.

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