Del Monte Fresh Produce is recalling apples for potential Listeria contamination after a customer tested fresh apples and found a sample to be positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
Listeria has not been an issue in whole fresh apples, and would be considered low risk. But caramel apples have been linked to an outbreak and sliced apples have been recalled due to the presence of Listeria. In a recent study, Listeria was shown to grow only minimally on whole apples with caramel (no stick) and no growth when those caramel apples (no stick) were stored at refrigeration temperatures. Even sliced apples shows minimal growth especially at refrigeration temperatures.
FDA Notice - Recall: Firm Press Release
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc., Recalls Limited Quantity of Fresh Apples Due to Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release October 14, 2015
Contact ConsumersContact-US-Executive-Office@freshdelmonte.com 800-659-6500
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc., (“Del Monte Fresh”) is initiating a voluntary recall of Granny Smith green apples because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stuffiness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
A total of 695 boxes containing 8 “Granny Smith” green apples each and 67 clear plastic bags containing 6 “Granny Smith” green apples each were distributed to Coremark and 7-Eleven for sale in convenience stores in the Mountain States region on Oct. 1-12, 2015. States affected include CO, KS, MO, NE, NM, OK, SD, UT and WY. The apples at store level are individual fruit on open displays.
No illnesses have been reported to date. The problem was discovered when a customer performed microbial testing on raw apples received.
Consumers who suspect that they have purchased “Granny Smith” green apples affected by this recall should dispose it in the garbage and contact Del Monte Fresh Produce for a refund. Affected retailers have been requested to remove the product from sale.
Consumers with questions may contact the Company’s consumer hotline at 1-800-659-6500 operating 24 hours seven days a week or email Del Monte Fresh at Contact-US-Executive-Office@freshdelmonte.com
Survival and Growth of Listeria monocytogenes on Fresh-Cut Apple Slices and Its Interaction with Glomerella cingulata and Penicillium expansum
Conway etal (2000) Plant Disease Vol 84 No. 2 pg 177
"Although L. monocytogenes can grow on apple slices, the population of the bacterium will not increase if the temperature at which the slices are stored is low enough. Therefore, even if the fresh-cut fruit does become contaminated with the bacterium, the potential for any possible harm to the consumer will be minimized if the fruit is kept at the recommended refrigeration temperature of 4°C."