May 21, 2019

Listeria Caramel Apples Sold at Safeway, Walmart, Cub, Sam’s Club, Kwik Trip, Mike’s Discount Foods

The current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has sickened at least 29 people in 10 states has been linked to commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples sold in several major grocery store chains and big box stores. Recalled caramel apples were sold at Safeway, which has been named in a lawsuit, Walmart, and Sam's Club in several states. In Minnesota, apples associated with the outbreak were sold at Cub, Kwik Trip, and Mike's Discount Foods. These apples are a seasonal product and are no longer available in stores, but consumers may still have them in their homes. The investigation into this outbreak is ongoing, and more stores may be named as officials learn more. For now, if you purchased a prepackaged caramel apple at one of those stores from August to December, 2014, and … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Lawsuit Names Happy Apple, Bidart Brothers, Safeway

A wrongful death lawsuit filed in connection with the caramel apple Listeria outbreak names the apple grower, the caramel apple maker and the store that sold the contaminated product as defendants.  Filed on behalf of one of the three people who have died in this 10-state outbreak, the wrongful death lawsuit initially named Safeway, the store where the caramel apple was purchased. But, after a recall was issued, the grower, Bidart Brothers, and the maker, Happy Apple, were added. According to the lawsuit, Shirlee Jean Frey, 81, died after contracting listeriosis from a caramel apple she purchased at Safeway just before Halloween. She began to feel ill the first week of November and was dead one month later. The two other deaths were reported in Minnesota, which has been hard hit by … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak Draws Varied State Responses

Minnesota, New Mexico, Utah and California are among the states to contribute their own public alerts and announcements about the caramel apple Listeria outbreak that has been associated with four deaths, three cases of bacterial meningitis and nine serious illnesses among pregnant women and babies. The visible involvement by health departments in those states to combat the outbreak and educate citizens stands in contrast to public silences kept by other states where people have been confirmed as case patients. "States contributing to the public awareness of this outbreak are helping to save lives,'' said Fred Pritzker, a food safety lawyer who represents Listeria outbreak victims. "They haven't been afraid to stand behind their science and call out makers of commercially produced … [Read more...]

Largest Multistate Outbreaks of 2014 #4: Caramel Apples

The current ongoing outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples is the fourth largest of 2014, although that may change before the year ends. As of December 22, 2014, at least 29 people in 10 states have been sickened in this outbreak. All 29 people have been hospitalized, and five people have died. Three cases of Listeria meningitis have been reported among otherwise healthy children. The government has taken the unusual step of telling consumers to avoid eating any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples until further notice, since they do not know exactly which brands were contaminated. Three companies have issued recalls of their caramel apple products: Happy Apples, California Snack Foods' Karm'l Dapples, and Merb's … [Read more...]

If You Purchased Happy Apple Caramel Apples, Here’s What to Do

A Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been linked to commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples and has sickened dozens of people. Five people have died in connection with this outbreak. Brands that may be associated with this outbreak include Carnival and Kitchen Cravings apples sold in Minnesota, and Happy Apple caramel apples sold in various states. Happy Apple issued a recall for all of these caramel apples with a best by date between August 25 and November 23, 2014. Those apples are no longer available in stores, but they do have a shelf life of up to a month. Consumers may still have them in their homes. The recalled apples were sold in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, … [Read more...]

FDA Statement on Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

On Christmas Day, the FDA issued a statement on the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to commercially prepared caramel apples. As of December 22, 2014, 29 people in 10 states have been sickened in this outbreak, and five deaths have been reported. Nine of the illnesses were pregnancy-related. Public health officials interviewed 23 people in this outbreak; 20 of them ate commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before they got sick. The Minnesota Department of Health reported four illnesses. Those people bought caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike's Discount Foods, which sold Carnival and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples that are no longer available. On December 24, 2014, the Happy Apple Company of Washington, Missouri voluntarily recalled their … [Read more...]

Listeriosis Caramel Apples Outbreak, CDC Update

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated the listeriosis outbreak linked to commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples. As of December 22, 2014, 29 people in 10 states are sick. The new illness is someone in Wisconsin. All of the 29 people sickened in this outbreak have been hospitalized. There have been five deaths. No official recall has been issued, although some brands of caramel apples have been removed from store shelves. The government recommends that U.S. consumers do not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as the fancier varieties that include nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings. These products have a shelf life of more than a month. Some of these products may still be in … [Read more...]

Advice to Consumers About Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing advice to consumers about the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to commercially produced caramel apples. Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness. The government is recommending that U.S. consumers not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain apples as well as those with additional nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings until further notice. These products are usually made and sold in the fall, but they may be still be for sale in grocery stores and may be in consumers' homes since they have a shelf life of more than a month. If you have any of these products in your home, discard them immediately in a closed container so other people and animals can't eat them. … [Read more...]

Listeria Meningitis Deepens Threat of Caramel Apple Outbreak

Federal officials have taken special note of Listeria meningitis illnesses associated with a closely watched outbreak of listeriosis associated with consumption of pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples. Outbreak analysis by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) shows that three otherwise healthy children aged 5 to 15 contracted invasive meningitis from the type of Listeria associated with the outbreak. Depending on the severity of these cases, the families of these children likely have been immersed in critical care situations because meningitis infects a person's central nervous system. The more common type of illness from Listeria monocytogenes -- also deadly -- is infection of a person's bloodstream. Listeria meningitis is severe. While most people with … [Read more...]

How Does Listeria Get on Apples?

The current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apples is worrying. Twenty-eight people have been sickened and five have died so far in this multi-state outbreak. Caramel apples are not a food one usually associates with foodborne illness. But all raw produce can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Almost all farm fields are irrigated with water, especially during droughts. That water can be contaminated with any kind of bacteria. And fertilizers made from manure can contain bacteria. When that bacteria gets onto fruits or vegetables it attaches to the produce and produces a biofilm that protects the bacteria and helps it grow. Produce can be contaminated with bacteria at any time along the supply chain, from the fields to the … [Read more...]

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