Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas hardest hit.
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As of January 10, 2015, a total of 32 people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes had been reported from 11 states.
Thirty-one ill people have been hospitalized, and seven deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of these deaths.
Ten 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.
To date, 25 (89%) of the 28 ill people interviewed reported eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before becoming ill.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified 2 cases of listeriosis in Canada with the same PFGE patterns as seen in 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 8, 2015, FDA laboratory analyses showed that these Listeria isolates were indistinguishable from outbreak strains by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
Listeria isolates from whole apples produced by Bidart Bros., collected along the distribution chain, were also indistinguishable from outbreak strains by PFGE.
Consumers should not eat any recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples produced by Bidart Bros., and retailers should not sell or serve them.
Consumers who are buying or have recently bought Granny Smith or Gala apples can ask their retailers if the apples came from Bidart Bros.
Consumers should not eat commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples that were recalled or made with Bidart Bros. apples, and retailers should not sell or serve them.
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.