The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that a recall has been issued for thousands of pounds of fresh fruit distributed to big box stores across 18 states, including Pennsylvania. Jac. Vandenberg Inc., a distributor out of New York, issued the recall after it found listeria monocytogenes during routine sampling. The fruit in question—peaches, nectarines and plums—was sent to Walmart stores in Pennsylvania, although Aldi and Costco locations in other states received shipments.
The company says a total of 1,727 cartons of peaches, 1,207 cartons of nectarines and 365 cartons of plums are affected by the recall. The peaches and nectarines in the recall are sold with the bulk produce in the mentioned stores and bear PLU stickers with numbers 3035, 4044 or 4378; the sticker notes “Chile” as the country of origin.
The FDA notes that so far there have been no reported listeria cases but that the recall was issued out of caution. According to the FDA, the bacteria can lead to “serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems” and can led to stillbirths and miscarriages in pregnant women. Symptoms to watch for include fever, stiff neck, weakness, confusions and vomiting, often preceded by diarrhea, notes FoodSafety.gov.
It is important to note that listeriosis, the infection caused by listeria, has an incubation period ranging from three to 70 days, which means that symptoms of infection may not show up for quite some time following consumption of listeria-contaminated foods. While listeria is more common in meats and raw dairy products, it is not unusual to see a listeria outbreak in a food processing plant. The bacteria is unique from most other bacteria due to the fact that it thrives in cold temperatures like those found in the refrigerator. You can reduce your risk of exposure to listeria by always washing fresh produce prior to consumption.
Other states where the tainted fruit was distributed include Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia. The distributor urges consumers who have purchased the affected fruit to return it to the retailer for a full refund.
As we reported in an earlier post, there has been an increase in food recalls over the past six years; food recalls are up by 10 percent, with class 1 recalls, which are the most serious, increasing by a shocking 83 percent. If you or someone you love was sickened by eating recalled food, you are likely frustrated and concerned, since you will have hospital or doctor bills to contend with and have likely missed work as a result. You can hold the responsible parties accountable for your losses, and our product liability attorney can help. We have years of experience helping our clients stand up to big companies who do them harm. Contact us now to schedule your free, no-obligation case consultation.