Amid listeria concerns from the FDA and Wawona Packing Company in Cutler, California, Costco and other popular grocery retailers have issued a nationwide recall on white and yellow peaches, white and yellow nectarines, plums and pluots sold in their stores.
In the FDA's report, Brent Smittcamp, President of Wawona Packing Company, explained the reason for the recall of stone fruits.
"We are aware of no illnesses related to the consumption of these products. By taking the precautionary step of recalling product, we will minimize even the slightest risk to public health, and that is our priority."This comes after Wawona Packing reported a possible listeria contamination to the FDA on July 19th. The company also contacted retailers such as Costco with a list of the lots which should be removed.
CBS6 reports that the recalled produce were shipped to wholesalers and retailers such as Costco, who may repackage the fruit and resell it under their store brand, a common practice. The FDA has released a document which contains photos and information concerning the affected fruit.
The recall came after internal company testing of equipment showed some traces of listeria monocytogenes bacterium. Equipment was shut down and sanitized. Subsequent daily testing results have been negative.
Listeria monocytogenes is the bacterium responsible for listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating contaminated food. It is most dangerous to children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. It can cause miscarriages and stillbirths. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, confusion, a loss of balance, and convulsions.
The CDC estimates that the U.S. sees approximately 1600 illnesses and 260 deaths a year from listeriosis. It is recommended that to reduce the chances of a listeria infection, the consumer should rinse raw produce thoroughly under running water before use. This should be followed by scrubbing and drying with clean materials. Vegetables and fruits should be stored separately from uncooked meats and poultry and storage should be cold, at 40°F or lower. Listeria monocytogenes can grow in the refrigerator, so it's important to clean up all spills immediately, using hot water and an antibacterial soap. Raw foods from animal sources should be cooked thoroughly and work surfaces should be cleaned after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
Costco has issued a statement of its own which mirrors the FDA warning; it can be found here.
Consumers who have purchased any of these fruits from Trader Joe's, Costco, Kroger's, or Sam's Club should discard the produce. Customers with concerns can contact Wawona Packing at 1-888-232-9912, M-F, 8am-5pm ET, or visit www.wawonapacking.com.
Earlier this month, The Inquisitr reported on the big-name company's unwitting connection to shrimp harvested with slave labor. Costco has also been at the center of a controversy concerning a bestselling book by Dinesh D'Souza that was pulled from the shelves and led to complaints from customers who felt the book's removal was unwarranted. In recent weeks, Costco pulled fresh chicken products and ground malabar pepper from its shelves when the producers issued warnings about potential salmonella contamination.
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