Wawona Packing Co. voluntarily recalled peaches nectarines, plums and pluots this week which were packed in Cutler, California between June 1 and July 12. Wawona reports the produce may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The products were distributed to Costco, Kroger, and Walmart, which includes Sam’s Club stores. The stores have posted recall notices about the contaminated fruits on their websites, as have Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and Food 4 Less.
TheU.S. Food and Drug Administration reportsthat the recall is nationwide. The recall warns consumers to watch for fruit with a stickers that reads “SWEET 2 EAT.” Tests were performed by Wawona which revealed the possible listeria contamination. Listeria was confirmed to be present on 2 nectarines and 1 peach, though it is not yet known how the fruits became contaminated. Wawona shut down and sterilized it’s facility, as well as performed additional testing for the bacteria which were negative for the bacteria.
Brett Smittcamp, President of Wawona Packing Co., is instructing customers to not eat any of their fruits with pits, and to dispose of any already purchased fruits and return them for a recall. Whole Foods has also recalled several of their made-in-store items which may contain the contaminated fruit, including cakes, tarts, salsas, and salads. Wegmans has also recalled several of it’s baked goods which contain fruit from Wawona Packing Co.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consumption of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis. The disease is of the most concern to older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems as they are especially susceptible. Those without these risk factors are rarely affected, the CDC reports.
To recognize the symptoms of listeriosis, watch for fever and muscle aches, which is sometime preceded by diarrhea of other gastrointestinal issues. Most individuals affected by listeriosis have an “invasive” infection, which means the bacteria spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms vary depending on the risk factors associated with the infected person.
Pregnant women will usually experience fever and other ambiguous symptoms such as aches or fatigue. It is very important to identify and treat listeriosis in pregnant women as soon as possible, because it can commonly lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or a life-threatening infection to the newborn. For those infected besides pregnant women, symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
If you have already eaten one of the recalled fruits, watch for symptoms of listeriosis, and alert your doctor immediately about the recall. “Your doctor will make a diagnosis and should report any positive test findings for Listeria monocytogenes to public health authorities, who will then report it to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” said Wawona about the recall.
“We are aware of no illnesses related to the consumption of these products” said Smittcamp.” By taking the precautionary step of recalling product, we will minimize even the slightest risk to public health, and that is our priority.”