Fresh Granny Smith and Gala Apples Recalled for Listeria
One of California’s largest apple growers, Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, has issued a voluntary recall of Granny Smith and Gala apples after researchers were able to link the apples to a huge outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes all over the United States.
Listeria monocytogenes has the potential to cause serious and occasionally fatal infections in many people, including small children, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms of Listeriosis can show up anywhere from the first 2 weeks to as much as two months after infection. Many suffer from headaches, fever, body aches or stiffness, while others may experience more serious symptoms like nausea, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, or even kidney disease, diabetes or cancer. In some cases, it can lead to nervous system problems.
Listeriosis can present an even greater health risk for pregnant women and their children. Such an infection means an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. It’s also possible for the woman to pass the infection on to her newborn child. Unfortunately, when that happens, it’s fatal as much as 50% of the time.
The current Listeria outbreak has infected at least 32 people in 11 states, including Texas, as of January 9, which was date of the last report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those infections, 31 of them were hospitalized and three of them died. In addition, ten illnesses involved pregnant women, and one resulted in the loss of a fetus. In addition to the CDC report, the Public Health Agency of Canada points to two cases of Listeriosis that were able to be linked to the same outbreak in the U.S.
In addition to the warnings about Granny Smith and Gala apples distributed by Bidart Bros., which are sometimes sold under the brand names “Big B” and “Granny’s Best,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued another warning. They have asked consumers to avoid commercially produced and pre-packaged whole caramel apples that used Bidart Bros. apples. Several companies, including California Snack Foods, the Happy Apple Company and Merbs Candies have each voluntarily recalled their pre-packaged caramel apples.
Those consumers who have purchased the Gala or Granny Smith apples that are part of this recall are urged to either toss them or take them back to the store for a refund. If unsure where the apple came from, ask the produce manager whether they came from Bidart Bros. The same goes for those who have purchased commercially produced caramel apples. Either throw them away or take them back. It’s not worth getting sick over.