Wawona Packing Company of Cutler, Calif., is recalling fruit from popular stores like Trader Joe’s and Costco that might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria which can cause serious diseases, especially in young children or elderly people.
A Food and Drug Administration news release announced that consumers should avoid whole peaches (white and yellow), nectarines (white and yellow), plums, and pluots that were packed between June 1 and July 12, 2014, by Wawona Packing Co. The company is issuing a nationwide call since the locations of the stores that purchased these products are unknown. They urge consumers to throw away the fruit immediately, which can be identified through this list.
“We are aware of no illnesses related to the consumption of these products,” Brent Smittcamp, president of Wawona Packing Co., said in the FDA news release. “By taking the precautionary step of recalling product, we will minimize even the slightest risk to public health, and that is our priority.” In order to prevent future concerns, Wawona has reportedly cleaned packing lines as well as any equipment linked to possible contamination. They’ve been testing their products daily and haven’t found any further traces of the bacteria.
The bacteria, L. monocytogenes, causes listeriosis, a serious infection that can be fatal. Children, elderly people, and pregnant women are more likely to get infected with the bacteria, especially after eating contaminated food. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1,600 people in the U.S. get infected with Listeria every year. It’s the third leading cause of death from food poisoning, and up to 90 percent of these people are pregnant women or their newborns. Visit Foodsafety.gov to learn how to prepare your food properly and prevent food poisoning through Listeria or other bacteria.
Trader Joe’s posted a Customer Update noting: “We have been alerted by our supplier of tree-ripened stone fruit that there is a possibility that all of the following products, sold in our stores within the timeframe given, may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes":
Sold Individually (by the each) — June 2 through July 18:
Organic White Nectarine
Organic Yellow Nectarine
Organic Yellow Peach
Organic Dapple Dandy Plumcot
Sold in 4LB Boxes — June 2 thru July 19 (Julian Date Codes of 153 through 193):
Trader Joe's Peaches 4LB Box
Trader Joe's Nectarines 4LB Box
Trader Joe’s will offer consumers a full refund if they return the contaminated fruits to the store.