November 20, 2017

Listeria Found at Bidart Brothers Apple Plant: Recall Issued

The FDA announced the results of tests performed on samples taken from Bidart Brothers apple processing plant. Government officials confirmed that two strains of Listeria monocytogenes found at the facility are believed to be the same strains associated with the Listeria outbreak that has sickened at least 32 people in 11 states. Those same strains were found in Bidart Brothers apples collected by the FDA from a retailer.

Listeria monocytogenes bacteriaThe company has issued a voluntary recall of all Bidart Brothers Granny Smith and Gala apples still available in the marketplace. The company last shipped Granny Smith apples to customers on December 2, 2014.

Consumers should not eat the Granny Smith and Gala apples being recalled. The apples are sold under brand names “Big B” and “Granny’s Best”, though they could also be sold under other brand names or with no brand at all. Consumers who have purchased Granny Smith or Gala apples recently should ask their retailers if the apples were supplied by Bidart Brothers. Other apple varieties and apples from other growers are not affected by this recall. Bidart Brothers is cooperating with the investigation by the FDA, CDC, and California Department of Public Health.

In addition, consumers should avoid eating commercially produced, prepackaged whole caramel apples including plain and more complicated products that were made using Bidart Brothers apples. They include Merb’s Candies, Happy Apple, and California Snack Foods. In the upper Midwest, recalled caramel apples include brands Lund’s, Byerly’s, Jerry’s, and Abdallah, among others.

If you purchased any of these plain Gala or Granny Smith apples or any commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples, do not eat them. Throw them away in a double bag, wash your hands, then clean the storage area with a mild bleach solution.

If you ate any commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apple this fall, or Gala or Granny Smith apples that were from Bidart brothers or that you cannot identify, monitor yourself for the symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning for 70 days from the date you ate the product. Those symptoms include headache, fever, stiff neck, muscle aches, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. Pregnant women may be seriously affected by this bacteria. The elderly, children, and those with weakened immune systems are also at serious risk from this type of infection. If you do get sick, see your doctor as soon as possible.

 

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