CUTLER, Calif. — A California fruit distributer has recalled several lots of nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots sent out to retailers nationwide over fears that it could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.
Wawona Packing Co. President Brent Smittercamp said that the company was recalling the products after consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Internal testing at Wawona’s Tulare County packing facility in central California found some of the fruit to be contaminated with Listeria, which can cause serious illness and may be fatal to young children the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.
Healthy individuals who ingest the Listeria bacteria usually suffer short-term, flu-like symptoms including high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, but the bacteria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women.
The affected fruit was packed and shipped from June 1 through July 12 and went out to national retailers, including Costco and Trader Joe’s. The company says it has no way of knowing what consumers have already bought the potentially contaminated fruit from its retail customers, so it provides descriptions and pictures on its website. Many of the recalled products were sold under the “Sweet 2 Eat” brand name.
Wawona said that it doesn’t know where the Listeria bacteria originated, but after discovering it the company shut down its packing lines, retrofitted some equipment, and sanitized the facility. Tests conducted after the cleanup measures found no bacteria.
The company says it knows of no illnesses that may have been caused by the contaminated fruit.