Coral Beach of the Packer reports that laboratory tests have confirmed that two strains of listeria monocytogenes found at Bidart Bros. apple packing facility in Shafter, Calif., are identical to those in an outbreak that has sickened 34 in the U.S. and Canada and killed at least three in the U.S.
Another four people who had the outbreak strains have died, and one woman who had the outbreak strain had a miscarriage. However, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said January 12 they are waiting for confirmation from state authorities that listeria was the cause of death in those cases.
Initially the outbreak was only associated with caramel and candy apples from companies that Bidart had supplied.
However, three of the 32 sick people in the U.S. reported eating whole or sliced “green” apples before becoming ill, according to the CDC. All but one of the sick people in the U.S. had to be hospitalized. As of Jan. 10, 25 of the 28 sick people interviewed by health officials reported eating caramel or candy apples before becoming ill.
Bidart Bros. officials recalled their entire 2014 crop of granny smiths and galas shipped from its Shafter, California facility, notifying customers in a January 6 letter. The last shipments from the facility were December 2, sending fresh, whole apples to retailers and wholesalers in the U.S. and Canada.