October 19, 2017

11 of 35 Caramel Apple Listeria Cases Related to Pregnancy

Eleven of the 35  caramel apple Listeria cases were related to pregnancy, including newborns who contracted the infection in utero,  pre-term deliveries and one fetal loss.  The 12-state outbreak sickened 35 people and killed seven before ending last week.

Caramel ApplePregnant women are 10 times more likely than the general population to contract Listeria infections. When they do, the infection can pass to her fetus causing miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, listeriosis or Listeria meningitis in the infant and death.

“Every Listeria case is serious, but when newborn babies are infected, it is absolutely heartbreaking for the families,” said Brendan Flaherty, a food safety attorney with PritzkerOlsen, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New Mexico woman whose son was born several months prematurely and spent more than four weeks in a neo-natal intensive care unit.

Case patients, who ranged in age from newborn to 92, reported onset of symptoms from October 17, 2014, to January 6, 2015. The 12 states that reported cases in the outbreak are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

All but three of the 35  sickened reported eating commercially prepared, pre-packaged caramel apples before they became ill. Recalls were issued for caramel apples.  And an apple recall was issued after tests on apples from one supplier, Bidart Brothers, were positive for Listeria.

The recalled Gala and Granny Smith apples were sold Granny’s Best, Big B and other brand names.

Recalled caramel apples were sold under the brand names Kroger and Happy Apples at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Safeway, United Supermarkets, Amigos, Albertsons Market, Market Street and United Express stores;  under the Merb’s Candies brand in the St. Louis area; and under the Karm’l Dapple brand name at grocery, discount, and club stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah. There are illnesses in Arizona, California, Texas, and Utah.

In Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan, caramel apples that were potentially contaminated with Listeria but not recalled were sold under the brand names: Aamodt’s, Abdallah, Angeli Foods, Candy Jar, Carnival, Celebration, Circle K, Finnottes, Grandma Bev’s, Jerry’s Foods, Karamel King, Kowalski’s Markets, Kitchen Cravings, Lunds & Byerly’s, Supermom’s, and Wescott.

Caramel apples sold at Smith’s Food and Drug in New Mexico have also been linked to the outbreak.

 

 

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