July 14, 2024

What Foods Are Commonly Associated with Listeria Outbreaks?

Given the two mystery Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks the government is currently investigating, it is a good idea to know what foods are commonly associated with Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks? This deadly infection has severe consequences; many people who contract it require hospitalization. If you are at higher risk for complications from this infection, you should think about avoiding these foods. Those who are at higher risk include the elderly, the very young, anyone with a chronic illness such as diabetes, anyone with a compromised immune system, and pregnant women. Most people who are sickened with this infection are older, have a chronic illness, or are pregnant; 90% of patients fall into those categories. Others who contract this infection rarely become seriously … [Read more...]

Previously Unreported Listeria Outbreak Associated with Caramel Apples

In the CDC's Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for January 25, 2019, a previously unreported Listeria monocytogenes outbreak associated with prepackaged caramel apples was announced.  In late 2014 and early 2015, a large and deadly outbreak of listeriosis linked to prepackaged caramel apples sickened ate least 35 people. Thirty four patients were hospitalized. And listeriosis contributed to at least three of the seven deaths reported. Eleven of those cases were associated with pregnancy, causing three premature births and one fetal loss. In the 2017 outbreak, PulseNet found a cluster of three Listeria monocytogenes clinical isolates with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern combinations. That means that those three people were likely sickened … [Read more...]

Remember Listeria Outbreaks as Caramel Apple Season is Here

Caramel apple season is here. If you choose to make your own or buy commercially prepared caramel apples, be aware of the dangers of food poisoning. A 2014 Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to caramel coated apples sickened 35 people. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of the seven deaths reported in that outbreak, according to the CDC. Eleven of the 35 people sickened were pregnant. One woman lost her baby. Twenty-eight of the 31 ill persons interviewed ate commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before they got sick. This outbreak was surprising, since the pH of apples is too low, and caramel is too high in sugar and therefore low in free water to support Listeria monocytogenes bacterial growth. The law firm of Pritzker Hageman, which underwrites Food … [Read more...]

Bidart Brothers and the Caramel Apple Listeria Investigation

Food safety investigators in the United States are still probing to decipher what caused the deadly outbreak of Listeria poisoning associated with commercially made caramel apples, including whether there are common sources of caramel, caramel ingredients, sticks, or packaging to the various makers of these caramel apples. So far, the biggest common denominator between companies involved in the recall of potentially contaminated caramel apples is Bidart Brothers, the fruit supplier. Based on documents released so far by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California-based Bidart Bros. was first briefed about its possible involvement in the outbreak by FDA officials on December 22. On that same day, the company issued a recall of … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Lawsuit, 3 Listeria Recalls and Bidart Brothers Apples

An outbreak of Listeria infections has prompted three recalls of prepackaged caramel apple products, all connected to Bidart Brothers, an apple supplier in California. The first caramel apple lawsuit was filed in CA, but, according to Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker, others are sure to follow in the 9 other states where people have been sickened: Arizona (4), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). The most recent recall was issued by Merb's Candies of St. Louis, MO. Yesterday the company announced a recall of Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples because they were made with apples supplied by Bidart Brothers that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. These products were sold by Merb's to St. … [Read more...]

Arizona Prominent in Listeriosis Outbreak, Caramel Apple Recalls

Arizona is one of only five states named as a distribution territory in the latest caramel apple recall and now has the distinction of being involved at many levels of a rapidly evolving investigation of Listeria food poisoning.  New outbreak details could be released in the coming week, but Arizona already is proven to have 14 percent of the 29 confirmed cases of listeriosis associated with pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples. Four deaths have stemmed from the outbreak and nine illnesses have occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn baby. Arizona, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas and New Mexico are the leading states in the outbreak, but five other states have confirmed cases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring the national … [Read more...]

Five Caramel Apple Listeria Case Patients Have Died

Of the five deaths so far associated with the U.S. caramel apple Listeria outbreak, two in Minnesota and one in California were unquestionably caused by listeriosis,  said officials in those states. In Texas, health authorities are unsure is listeriosis was the primary cause of death in one of that state's four case patients. And in Missouri, the death of a caramel apple Listeria patient was unrelated to listeriosis, the state has noted. With new developments unfolding quickly in this outbreak, the death toll could rise. The law firm of Pritzker Hageman is hearing from families affected by the outbreak and expect even more people to be confirmed as case patients. The initial caramel apple Listeria report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is that 28 people from 10 … [Read more...]

New Mexico Caramel Apple Listeria Toll Could Climb

The number of people in New Mexico infected by Listeria from caramel apples could be more than five, a number that only one other state has matched in the ongoing state and federal investigation of a deadly listeriosis outbreak. The New Mexico Department of Health said work is ongoing to identify additional cases in the state. So far, more than one New Mexico baby has been diagnosed with Listeria while other case patients range in age up to 42. "These cases reside in Bernalillo, McKinley, and Lea counties and became ill in October and November,'' according to a caramel apple Listeria health alert from the department. "All were hospitalized and are recovering.'' Of 10 states confirmed by the CDC to be part of this outbreak, only Missouri was reported initially to have as many cases as … [Read more...]

Listeria in Caramel Apples Leaves 3 Children with Meningitis

Listeria in caramel apples has left three children between the ages of 5 and 15 with Listeria meningitis. This, sometimes fatal, form of meningitis normally develops in infants. At least 28 people in 10 states have been sickened by caramel apples contaminated with Listeria. Twenty six people have been hospitalized, five people have died. Those most at risk for Listeria infection include children, pregnant women, older adults and those with compromised immune systems. This outbreak includes all of those groups. Nine of the illnesses were related to pregnancy, the median age of those sickened was 64 and three children developed Listeria meningitis. Symptoms of Listeria meningitis, which develop between three and 70 days of ingesting contaminated food,  include high fever, headache, … [Read more...]

Listeria in Caramel Apples Kills 5, Sickens Dozens in 10-State Outbreak

Five people are dead and dozens more sick in a 10-state Listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. Consumers should not eat commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including those covered with nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more information is available. So far, 28 people have been sickened, 26 were hospitalized and five people have died. Pregnant women are at special risk for Listeria infections which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and infection in the newborn baby. Nine of the illnesses in this outbreak affected pregnant woman and newborn babies. Three cases of Listeria meningitis were among otherwise healthy children ages 5 to 15. Case counts by state are as … [Read more...]

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