A nationwide recall on nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots potentially contaminated with the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria has been expanded to include additional retailers and store items made with the affected fruit.
Cutler, Calif.-based Wawona Packing Co. voluntarily recalled the fruit on July 19 after an Australian importer’s test detected slight levels of the Listeria bacteria on three peaches. Wawona said in a statement that the Listeria it found fell “within tolerance levels” set by the Australian government.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), however, has a zero-tolerance rule for listeria monocytogenes, prompting Wawona to retain a private laboratory to test its products and packing facility. The company chose to voluntarily recall the fruit after consulting with federal regulators.
The affected fruit was packed and shipped from June 1 through July 12 and went out to national retailers under the “Sweet 2 Eat” brand name. Anyone who purchased conventional or organic nectarines, peaches, plums, and pluots at BJ’s, Costco, Dierberg’s, Food 4 Less, Kroger, Ralph’s, Sam’s Club Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Wegman’s are advised to throw the fruit out or return it to the store for a refund.
Some of the retailers issued their own recalls. According to the FDA, Whole Foods used the recalled fruit in some made-in-store items such as cakes, tarts, salsas, and prepared salads and those products are also included in the expanded recall.
No illnesses as a result of consuming the affected fruit have been reported.
“While waiting for the confirmed test results, the company stopped production and performed extra cleaning and sanitization measures and conducted more tests,” Wawona Packing said in a statement. “All test results taken after this process have been negative.”
Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious illness with flu-like symptoms including high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Although symptoms are short-lived in most individuals, they can be fatal in very young children, the elderly, and individuals with weak immune systems. Listeria infection can also cause miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women.