I do not get a chance to give a positive shout out to companies on the pages of my blog often, but here is one.
The Kroger Co. today announced its decision to withdraw from sale unrefrigerated caramel apples that have been pierced with dipping sticks due to new scientific evidence that the product, if left unrefrigerated, may be at risk for listeriosis. This new evidence was first reported in July by Food Safety News covering the IAFP Conference in Portland, Oregon.
Kroger reports that no illnesses have been reported in connection with these products (at least recently). Kroger made its decision out of an abundance of caution after reviewing a study published online by the American Society of Microbiology.
“After reviewing the study, we have decided to voluntarily withdraw unrefrigerated caramel apples from our stores,” said Dr. Payton Pruett, Kroger’s vice president of food safety. “While we believe the potential health risk is minimal, we are acting out of an abundance of caution on behalf of our customers.”
The Kroger family of stores has pulled these products from shelves and distribution centers and has disposed of them.
Dr. Pruett added that the company is open to carrying these products again in the future and will work with suppliers to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.