September 26, 2018

Listeria in Caramel Apples Kills 2, Sickens 2 Others in Minnesota

Listeria in caramel apples has killed two people in Minnesota and sickened two others, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). The illnesses are part of a multi-state outbreak, the agency said.

Caramel ApplesMDH is working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture,  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on an investigation into the outbreak.

The four people in Minnesota, all adults ages 59 to 90 years,  became ill in late October and November. All of then were hospitalized. Two of them died.

MDH is warning consumers not to eat any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples, including those with toppings such as nuts, chocolate, and sprinkles until more information becomes available.

The case patients in Minnesota  purchased caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples. The brands are no longer being sold at retail locations, but health officials are concerned that some people may still have them in their homes.

Listeria infection symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Among pregnant women, listeriosis can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn baby. Symptoms begin from 3 to 70 days after eating food contaminated with the bacteria.

Only about seven cases of listeriosis are typically reported in Minnesota each year. Anyone who has symptoms should contact their health care provider.

 

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