September 24, 2018

Listeria Caramel Apple Brands Sold in MN, Upper Midwest Named

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture just released a list of caramel apple brand names associated with the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that is ongoing in 11 states. The apples were produced using produce from Bidart Brothers Apple Packing of Shafter, California. Bidart Brothers just recalled all of their Gala and Granny Smith apples produced in 2014 after Listeria monocytogenes was found in their packing plant.

Caramel ApplesThe recalled brands include 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. These caramel apple brands were sold in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The products were plain, and covered with toppings such as nuts and chocolate. They are seasonal, sold in the fall, and are no longer available in stores.

But consumers may still have some of the apples in their homes. And if anyone ate any of these products this fall and winter, they need to be aware that listeriosis, the illness caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, can take up to 70 days to produce symptoms.

There are four people in Minnesota and two in Wisconsin who have been sickened by Listeria-tainted caramel apples. Attorney Fred Pritzker, who just filed a lawsuit on behalf of a woman and her baby sickened in this outbreak, said, “This is a big and significant outbreak, with serious consequences for many families. We have not yet seen the end of this outbreak.” Listeriosis is most serious in pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses and weakened immune systems.”

If you purchased any of these apples, do not eat them. Throw them away in a double bag or return to the place of purchase for a refund. Wash your hands well with soap and water and clean the area where the apples were stored with a mild bleach solution.

If you ate any of these commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, monitor yourself for the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning for 70 days from the time you ate them. Those symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeriosis can cause miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women, even those their illness may be very mild. If you do develop these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible for treatment.

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