August 25, 2019

FDA: Bidart Brothers Recalled Granny Smith Apples Linked to Listeria Outbreak

It’s been two weeks since the multistate Listeria outbreak linked to prepackaged, commercially prepared caramel apples was announced. The outbreak has now sickened 32 people in 11 states. Six deaths have been reported.

Caramel-AppleAs details of traceback investigations into the source of the outbreak have emerged, a link to apples produced by Bidart Brothers of Bakersfield, Calif. has been established. But the company has never issued a recall. At least not publicly.

In its December 31 update on the outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Bidart Brothers has issued two recalls. “On December 22, 2014, Bidart Bros. issued a recall of Granny Smith apples it sold in 2014 to those customers known to produce caramel apples.  Then, on December 24, 2014, Bidart Bros. notified all customers receiving Granny Smith apples in 2014 to recall those apples if they had been used to make caramel apples.”

Three of those companies have issued recalls for caramel apples. They are: Happy Apple Company of Washington, Mo.; California Snack Foods, of El Monte, California; and Merb’s Candies of St. Louis, Mo.

The FDA traced back the source of caramel apples from Happy Apple and Merb’s that made eight of the 32 case patients sick.  Bidart Brothers is the only apple grower that supplied apples to both companies.

“A full list of companies that received the apples should be released publicly,” said Fred Pritzker, a food safety attorney with PritzkerOslen law firm and publisher of Food Poisoning Bulletin. “The public has a right to know.”

 

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