California exports high volumes of fresh produce. The vast majority of it is safe, healthy and a welcome treat in areas that do not have such an ideal agricultural climate. But, some California fruits have recently been the subject of a massive recall that could put consumers at risk of a serious infection.
Plums, peaches, nectarines and pluots from the Wawona Packing Company are the subject of the recent produce recall. Certain lots packed between June 1 and July 12 could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a microorganism that can cause the illness listeriosis (commonly referred to as “listeria”). The recall affects even organic fruits.
Symptoms of listeria typically include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, headaches, stiffness and high fever. The illness can usually be effectively treated with antibiotics. But, it is particularly dangerous for people in a high-risk category, such as older adults, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. Some cases of listeriosis are fatal even when treated promptly. In pregnant women, listeria can result in birth injuries, including stillbirths.
It is unknown exactly where contaminated fruit wound up, as the Wawona Packing Company does not know where its produce is distributed after it is delivered to their direct customers. But high volume retailers including Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, Costco, Kroger, Food 4 Less, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club have posted notices about the recall.
The odds of suffering lasting harm from a listeria infection related to tainted fruit are slim, but in some cases, listeriosis can be serious or even fatal. If you or someone you love might have been harmed by a fruit-borne infection, a lawyer may be able to help you secure fair compensation.
KTLA, “Company Expands Voluntary Recall of California Fruit Over Listeria Fears,” Kale Williams, Aug. 4, 2014