Report: Apples, Not Caramel Deemed Responsible For December Listeriosis Outbreak

A December outbreak of listeriosis linked to several kinds of prepackaged caramel apples may be over, but regulators say they now know it was the apple, not the caramel that led to the death of seven people and the sickening of 35 others.

Food Safety News reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that at least three people who had only eaten whole or sliced green apples became sick as part of the outbreak.

The new information seems to confirm that the listeria contamination originated at an apple processing plant for California-based Bidart Bros.

The company issued a recall of Granny Smith and Gala apples back in January after testing found a connection between the produce and two strains of Listeria monocytogenes responsible for the deadly listeria outbreak.

Prior to that testing, several caramel apple producers, including Happy Apple, California Snack Foods, and Merb’s Candies recalled products.

A possible contamination was first reported in December 2014, after five people died and at least 28 people in 10 state became infected with Listeriosis due to Listeria monocytogenes – a bacteria that can cause life-threatening illness.

At that time, the CDC warned all consumers to avoid eating prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings.

In all, the outbreak affected consumers ages 5 to 92 in all corners of the U.S. including Arizona, California, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

While the latest update on the CDC website states that the listeriosis outbreak is over, the agency continues to advise consumers to avoid eating Bidart Bros. apples.

Apples Were Apparently the Contaminated Ingredient in Those Caramel Apples [Food Safety News]

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