Kroger Gets Rid Of Unrefrigerated Caramel Apples On Sticks Just To Be Sure

Image courtesy of (photographynatalia )

Is it possible that the caramel apples sitting on store shelves right now have been contaminated with bacteria, made worse because the fruits are impaled on sticks and coated with candy? The many grocery brands owned by Kroger aren’t taking any chances, and announced that they’re getting rid of all unrefrigerated caramel apples.

With apple-harvesting season and Halloween, October is peak caramel apple season. This week, a study published in the open-access journal mBio showed how an apple that’s already contaminated with Listeria can incubate even more bacteria after it’s covered with caramel and sits on a shelf for a few weeks. The juice exiting the apple when the fruit is impaled on a stick brings the bacteria out of the fruit, where it grows between the apple skin and the candy.

Kroger cites this study in its announcement to ditch all of their current inventory of caramel apples: last year’s outbreak killed seven people and caused one miscarriage, and no one wants to see that happen again.

“While we believe the potential health risk is minimal, we are acting out of an abundance of caution on behalf of our customers,” the company’s VP of food safety said in a statement. The company won’t rule out selling caramel apples again in the future, but only after manufacturers find a safer method to mass-produce the treats.

Kroger Withdraws Unrefrigerated Caramel Apples Due to Potential Food Safety Risk [Kroger] (via Food Safety News)

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