December 9, 2016

Caramel Apple Listeria Recall Totaled 15.25 Million Pounds

New enforcement documents on file with the Food and Drug Administration show the full spectrum of apple recalls made by Bidart Bros. -- a voluntary action that applied to 15.25 million pounds of Gala and Granny Smith varieties from the 2014 harvest. The product quantities totaled 33,900 cases of Gala apples and 347,970 cases of Granny Smith apples, with each case weighing between 40-45 pounds, according to the reports. Distribution incorporated Minnesota, California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Tennessess, Texas, Michigan, Arizona, Maryland, Oregon, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri and Canada. The Bakersfield, Calif., company is facing numerous Listeria apple lawsuits in connection with an outbreak that hospitalized 34 people in 12 … [Read more...]

Sequencing the Deadly Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

Starting in October 2014 when the caramel apple Listeria outbreak was claiming its first victims, public health officials in states like Minnesota, Arizona, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas were about to receive the first indications of a lethal food poisoning problem from an unlikely source. It took two months to coalesce, but state reporting of individual cases of listeriosis and federal monitoring of those reports with a system of genetic fingerprinting tied the cases together: pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples were making people deathly ill and sending them to the hospital. Listeria lawsuit court records, state health agency documents, outbreak reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an investigation summary filed by the Food and Drug … [Read more...]

Cheese Listeria Outbreak Caused 2013 Shutdown of Crave Brothers

On July 3, 2013, Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company of Waterloo, Wisconsin, voluntarily recalled its Les Frères, Petit Frère, and Petit Frère with Truffles cheeses with make dates of July 1, 2013, or prior. The recalled cheeses were distributed nationwide through retail stores that included some Whole Foods outlets, restaurant supply carriers and mail orders. Investigators in Minnesota and elsewhere, including food safety and infectious disease experts at the FDA and CDC, associated the cheese with a multi-state outbreak of listeriosis from the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. This food poisoning outbreak killed a person in Minnesota and caused a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage. Four other people were hospitalized and the outbreak touched Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Texas. The … [Read more...]

Bidart Bros. Publicly Contrite Over Listeria Caramel Apple Outbreak

The California company at the center of a Listeria caramel apple lawsuit has expressed sorrow for victims of the outbreak and pledged to work in complete cooperation with ongoing investigations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). In a public letter published on the FDA's food safety pages, the family-owned company also said it received annual USDA certification in September 2014, just one month before the outbreak began. "Our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by the apple-related listeriosis outbreak,'' said Leonard Bidart, president of Bidart Bros. "As a family-owned grower operating in California since the 1930s, we place safety at the forefront of everything we … [Read more...]

Why are Pregnant Women So at Risk for Listeria Infections?

The ongoing Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples and that may be associated with plain apples packed by Bidart Brothers has sickened 32 people and killed seven. Ten of these illnesses were in pregnant women; one woman suffered a fetal loss. Why is this infection so serious in pregnant women? One theory is that in pregnancy, the immune system is suppressed so the body doesn't reject the embryo and fetus. This reduction in immunity may be why these women are so susceptible to listeriosis and why the complications can be so severe. Researchers at Berkeley, however, discovered that Listeria monocytogenes bacteria use the immune system suppression to invade the placenta where they are protected from the mother's immune system. Once … [Read more...]

Genetic Link Between Bidart Brothers Apple Facility, Listeria Outbreak

Since December 22, 2014, consumers have been told not to consume any commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples because of a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak associated with those products. As the investigation unfolded, it became clear that Bidart Brothers, an apple packer in California, was the only grower to apply apples to Happy Apple Company and Merb's Candies, two recalled brands. Also on December 22, 2014, Bidart Brothers issued a recall of Granny Smith apples sold to customers who make caramel apples. That recall was expanded on December 24, 2014, to all Bidart Brothers caramel apple-making customers supplied with Granny Smith apples in 2014. The California Food Emergency Response Team was sent on December 23, 2014 to investigate the outbreak. Environmental samples were … [Read more...]

Brands in Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak: Happy Apple, Kroger, Karm’l Dapple, Merb’s Candies, Carnival, Kitchen Cravings

The brands of commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples involved in the multistate caramel apple Listeria monocytogenes outbreak as of January 6, 2014 include Happy Apple, Kroger, California Snack Foods Karm'l Dapple, Merb's Candies, Carnival, and Kitchen Cravings. The first four brands have been recalled; the second two were mentioned in the Minnesota Department of Health original outbreak press release. Thirty-two people have been sickened in this outbreak, 31 of those patients have been hospitalized. There have been six deaths related to this outbreak, and ten illnesses relating to a pregnancy. In addition, three children have developed serious complications. Attorney Fred Pritzker, who represents clients sickened by this bacteria, said, "This outbreak is already an absolute … [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...]

What You Need to Know About the Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apple outbreak is scary. Most people wouldn't associate such a product with bacteria contamination, but apples, like every other fruit or vegetable, can carry pathogenic bacteria. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself. According to the CDC, there are 32 people who have been sickened by this outbreak. They live in 11 states: Arizona (4), California (2), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), Nevada (1), New Mexico (6), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). Of the 32 people sickened, 31 have been hospitalized. Six people have died in this outbreak, and three children have developed Listeria meningitis, a serious complication of this infection. Ten of the … [Read more...]

Listeriosis Outbreak Linked to Caramel Apples Jumps to 32 Sick

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have updated the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples. As of December 30, 2014, 32 people are sick in 11 states. There have been six deaths, and 31 of the patients have been hospitalized.   The case count per state is: Arizona (4), California (2), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), Nevada (1), New Mexico (6), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). There are additional cases in California (1), Nevada (1), and New Mexico (1). Nevada has been added to the outbreak state list. The dates illnesses began range from October 17, 2014 to December 11, 2014. Ten illnesses have been associated with a pregnancy, and one pregnant woman has suffered a … [Read more...]

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