Food safety expert witnesses may consult on food borne illnesses, food handling, restaurant industry standards, and food poisoning. This week Bidart Bros. expanded an apple recall to include all granny smith and galas shipped from its Shafter, Calif., facility after two strains of Listeria monocytogenes were confirmed in the apple processing plant. The bacteria are believed to be the same ones associated with the 2014 outbreak that killed seven people and sickened many more. The recall first targeted packaged caramel-coated apples but the recall has been broadened to all shipments of Bidart Bros. Granny Smith and Gala apples.
On 1/10/15 CDC.gov posted:
CDC is collaborating with public health officials in several states and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis) linked to commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples. Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness.
People at higher risk for listeriosis include adults 65 years or older, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women.
On January 6, 2015, Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, California voluntarily recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples because environmental testing revealed contamination with Listeria monocytogenes at the firm’s apple-packing facility.
On January 8, 2015, FDA laboratory analyses showed that these Listeria isolates were indistinguishable from outbreak strains by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Listeria isolates from whole apples produced by Bidart Bros., collected along the distribution chain, were also indistinguishable from outbreak strains by PFGE.
Consumers should not eat any recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples produced by Bidart Bros., and retailers should not sell or serve them.
Consumers who are buying or have recently bought Granny Smith or Gala apples can ask their retailers if the apples came from Bidart Bros.
Consumers should not eat commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples that were recalled or made with Bidart Bros. apples, and retailers should not sell or serve them.
Happy Apples, California Snack Foods, and Merb’s Candies each announced a voluntary recall of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples after hearing from Bidart Bros. that there may be a connection between Bidart Bros. apples and this listeriosis outbreak.
Consumers who are buying or have recently bought commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples can ask their retailers if the apples came from Bidart Bros.
Consumers who are unable to determine whether their commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples were made with Bidart Bros. apples should throw them away.
As of January 10, 2015, a total of 32 people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes had been reported from 11 states.
Thirty-one ill people have been hospitalized, and seven deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of these deaths.