A primer on listeria following the recall of peaches, nectarines, and plums sold at bulk food stores.
Who doesn't love stone fruit in the summer? Well, if you've bought any in bulk recently at stores like Trader Joe's and Costco, it's time to listen up: California-based Wawona Packing Co. has issued a voluntary recall of fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots (that's a plum-apricot hybrid, FYI) because of the possibility that the fruit could be contaminated with listeria. The recall includes both yellow and white varieties of peaches and nectarines.
You've probably heard of recalls linked to E. coli, but you may not be familiar with listeria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating foods contaminated with listeria can cause a serious infection called listeriosis with symptoms including fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Listeriosis is especially dangerous for pregnant women since infections during pregnancy can lead to complications like miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or meningitis in newborns. Pregnant women, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk of getting the infection. The CDC estimates that 1,600 people get sick from listeria each year and, of these, 260 die.
You should know that, so far, no illnesses linked to these products have been reported and Wawona is issuing the recall as a precaution. The recall came after testing of its facilities and affects fruit that was packed and shipped between June 1 and July 12.
The fruit was sold in bulk at stores including Trader Joe's, Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club, and Sam's Club and was sometimes packaged with the brand name "Sweet 2 Eat." You can check out photos of the affected packaging on the FDA's site and search the list of all affected Wawona products by lot number.
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This announcement affects more than fresh fruit: Grocery chain Wegman's has recalled baked goods made in-store that contain fruit from Wawona, including cakes and fruit tarts.
If you bought fruit or baked goods affected by the recall, you should throw them out or return them to the store for a refund. Wawona has already asked retailers to remove the products from their shelves.
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