The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a total of 35 people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from 12 states. Of these, 34 people were hospitalized. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of the seven deaths reported. Eleven illnesses were pregnancy-related (occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn infant), with one illness resulting in a fetal loss. Three invasive illnesses (meningitis) were among otherwise healthy children aged 5–15 years. Twenty-eight (90%) of the 31 ill people interviewed reported eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before becoming ill. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) identified one case of listeriosis in Canada that is genetically related to the U.S. outbreak.
On January 6, 2015, Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, California voluntarily recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples because environmental testing revealed contamination with Listeria monocytogenes at the firm’s apple-packing facility. On January 18, 2015, FDA laboratory analyses using whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that these Listeria isolates were highly related to the outbreak strains. Happy Apples, California Snack Foods, and Merb’s Candies each announced a voluntary recall of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as caramel apples, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.