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Massive nationwide recall of California fruit underway

The recall was issued after internal testing at the packing house discovered the bacterium
The recall was issued after internal testing at the packing house discovered the bacterium
Robin Wulffson, MD

A possible listeria contamination has triggered the recall of specific lots of fresh peaches (white and yellow), plums, nectarines (white and yellow), and pluots by Wawona Packing Company, located in Central California Tulare County. The fruit was packed from June I, 2014 through July 12, 2014 and was distributed to retailers including Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Sam’s Club. Wawona notes that the move is a precautionary measure and, to date, no illnesses have been reported. The recall was issued after internal testing at the packing house discovered the bacterium. The contaminated production lines have been shut down, some equipment has been retrofitted, and the entire facility has been sanitized. Subsequent tests have been negative.

The recalled products were shipped directly to retailers and wholesalers who resell the products. Wawona notes that it has no information regarding the locations of the companies that purchased the fruit; therefore, it issued the nationwide recall. Detailed information regarding the recalled fruits is available on the Wawona Web site. Consumers with questions can also contact Wawona Packing at (888) 232-9912, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The company recommends that the recalled should not be consumed, instead, they should be discarded.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. It is an important public health problem in the United States that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, on rare occasions, individuals without these risk factors can also be affected. The risk may be reduced by recommendations for safe food preparation, consumption, and storage.

Common symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and neck stiffness. A case that does not involve a pregnant woman and/or her fetus or a newborn is known as nonperinatal listeriosis. Nonperinatal listeriosis is characterized by meningoencephalitis (infefecion of the brain and/or spinal column) and/or septicemia (generalized infection in the body). It primarily affects senior citizen and individuals with a compromised immune system, such as those with cancer or HIV, as well as patients on immunosuppressive therapy.