We are seeing an expanding recall of apples that were used to produce caramel apples over the last several days. But, what is the recent history of recalls related to apples?
In 2014 Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. (“Del Monte Fresh”) announced an amendment of its press release dated December 10, 2014 to reflect the accurate finished product descriptor and BIUB date of two (2) items included in its voluntary recall of fresh cut fruit containing Gala red apples grown in Pennsylvania because of Listeria contamination.
In 2013 Crunch Pak® of Cashmere, Washington recalled 5,471 cases of Crunch Pak® Apple Slices due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes.
In 2012 Freshway Foods recalled 6,671 pounds of sliced apples that were packaged on November 12 using the same packaging machine, which may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
In 2012 Missa Bay, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ready Pac Foods, Inc., of Swedesboro, New Jersey recalled a total of 293,488 cases and 296,224 individually distributed units of fruit, vegetable, and sandwich products containing apples, as listed below, with the Use‐by dates of July 8, 2012 through August 20, 2012 because they contain diced or sliced apples which may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
In 2012 Reichel Foods, Inc. of Rochester, Minnesota recalled a limited amount of Dippin’ Stix Sliced Apples & Caramel with Peanuts and Armour Active Packs Cheese Pizza Lunch Kits because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
According to the FDA, although the Happy Apple Company and Merb’s Candies receive apples from other growers, the FDA’s ongoing traceback investigation has confirmed that Bidart Bros. is the only apple grower that supplied apples to both companies.
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 and supplied indirectly by Bidart Brothers.
The CDC and FDA have both warned consumers not to eat commercially-produced, prepackaged whole caramel apples, including those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided. It does raise the question why caramel apples are linked to illnesses, but other apples not?