Thousands of cartons of fresh fruit including peaches, nectarines, and plums, which were distributed to stores across the country, are being recalled because they may be contaminated with listeria. According to a Huffington Post news report, New York-based fruit distributor Jac Vandenberg Inc. announced the recall on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website. The alert was issued after routine checks revealed samples of the fruit contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
Details of the Recall
The affected batches of fruits were distributed mostly at smaller retail establishments across 19 states, including California. However, fruit sold at Wal-Mart, Costco, Aldi, Fairway Market, Hannaford and Market Basket stores are also subject to the recall. About 1,727 cartons of peaches, 1,207 cartons of nectarines and 365 cartons of plums are being recalled.
The peaches and nectarines were sold in bulk. Aldi’s peaches, nectarines, and plums were sold in 2-pound bags under the Rio Duero brand. Costco nectarines were sold in a 4-pound plastic clamshell, also under the Rio Duero brand. Consumers are asked to return the fruit to the point of purchase for a refund. So far, no illnesses have been reported in connection with this possible contamination.
The Dangers of Listeria
Listeria has the potential to cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with compromised immune systems. Listeriosis is a serious infection that is usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year and about 260 people die from the infection. It could also sicken pregnant women and their newborn babies. In some cases, listeriosis can even cause miscarriages and stillbirths.
Food producers and sellers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are clean and safe for consumers. To this end, they are required under the law to maintain clean facilities and store food products at the right temperatures. They are also required to issue timely recalls if any food has been contaminated.
If you have been sickened by contaminated or defective products, it is important that you secure prompt medical care and attention. Report your illness to the local healthcare agency. Contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer who will fight for your rights and help you recover maximum compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.