April 21, 2024

FDA Weighs In On HMC Farms Stone Fruit Listeria Outbreak

The FDA has weighed in on the deadly HMC Farms stone fruit Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. In that outbreak, 11 people in seven states have been sickened. One person who lived in California has died. Another patient experience premature labor. The fruits, under the labels HMC Farms and Signature Farms, have been recalled.

FDA Weighs In On HMC Farms Stone Fruit Listeria Outbreak

The FDA notice also states that the recalled fruit was sold to other manufacturers who may have frozen or relabeled the recalled fruit to sell under another brand. The FDA advisories will be updated as more information is uncovered.

The recalled fresh fruit is no longer available for sale in retail stores, but public health officials are worried that consumers have frozen this fruit for later use. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria easily survive the freezing process, so any of these fruits that have been frozen are still dangerous.

The peaches, plums, and nectarines were sold nationwide in two pound bags, under the HMC Farms label, and also under the Signature Farms labeled bags with the number 6359 printed on a white sticker on the bag. The fruits were also sold individually, with PLU stickers labeled USA-E-U along with four digit numbers.

The FDA tested samples of two pound bagged peaches at the HMC Group Cold Storage facility in Kingsburg, California on October 23, 2023. On November 7, 2023, the samples were positive for the pathogen, and were a match to the outbreak strain through whole genome sequencing.

This outbreak stretches back to 2018, which is fairly typical for a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. Not many people get sick enough to require a doctor’s care or hospitalization, but when they do get sick their conditions are usually serious. Ten people reported that they were hospitalized as a result of their illness. Patients live in these states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, and Ohio.

Symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by this pathogen, can take up to 70 days to appear. The first symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If the illness progresses to the more serious form, patients will experience a high fever, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, severe headache, and muscle aches. Those most at risk for serious complications include the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and those with chronic illnesses. Pregnant women are at special risk for premature labor, stillbirth, and miscarriage, even though their illness is usually mild.

If you ate any of this fruit and are experiencing those symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this deadly HMC Farms stone fruit Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a food poisoning infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food processors, and families in wrongful death cases.

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