The CDC reports this morning that as of December 30, 2014, a total of 32 people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 11 states: Arizona (4), California (2), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), Nevada (1), New Mexico (6), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). Dates when the Listeriastrains were isolated range from October 17, 2014, to December 11, 2014. Ten illnesses have been associated with a pregnancy (occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn infant). One fetal loss has been reported. Among people whose illnesses were not associated with a pregnancy, ages ranged from 7 to 92 years, with a median age of 66 years, and 32% were female. Three invasive illnesses (meningitis) occurred among otherwise healthy children aged 5–15 years. Thirty-one ill people have been hospitalized and six deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to three of these deaths, and it is unclear whether it contributed to an additional two deaths. The sixth death was unrelated to listeriosis.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified 2 cases of listeriosis in Canada with the same PFGE patterns as seen in the US outbreak. PHAC is working with its provincial and territorial partners to determine the source of these illnesses.
At this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not prepackaged or to caramel candy.
- Happy Apple reported that it recently received notice from Bidart Brothers, one of its apple suppliers to the Orosi California facility, that there may be a connection between this outbreak and the apples that they supplied to that facility.
- California Snack Foods issued a voluntary recall of California Snack Foods brand caramel apples with a best use by date between August 15th and November 28th 2014.
- Pacific Coast Fruit announced on its website that it was made aware that Bidart Brothers was recalling apples sold to caramel coated candy apple.. Happy Apples purchased apples from Bidart Brothers and Pacific Coast Fruit in turn distributed Happy Apples to Pacific Coast Fruit customers. Pacific Coast Fruit Company is now in the process of contacting customers and recalling all Happy Apple brand apples sold after September 22, of 2014.
- Merb’s Candies is issuing a voluntary recall of the Merb’s Candies brand Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples. Merb’s Candies has been working with the Food and Drug Administration in their investigation of the current outbreak of Listeriosis, which has been associated with caramel apples. Bidart Brothers, who is one of Merb’s Candies apple suppliers, has initiated a recall, as there may be a connection between this outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes and apples they supplied Merb’s Candies.
- Although no recall has been announced, Minnesota cases purchased caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples. These apples were produced by H. Brooks.