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Listeria outbreak linked to fruit now being recalled

Written by on November 21, 2023

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(NEW YORK) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning Monday about a listeria outbreak linked to recalled peaches, nectarines and plums after 10 hospitalizations and one death were reported in seven states.

The agency said the affected fruits, which were distributed nationwide and sold at retail stores, were branded “HMC Farms” or “Signature Farms.” The recall did not include organic fruit.

HMC Group Marketing has voluntarily recalled the fruit, sold between May 1 and Nov. 15, 2022, and the same dates in 2023, that have a sticker reading “USA-E-U.” The stickers have numbers 4044 or 4038 for yellow peach, 4401 for white peach, 4036 or 4378 for yellow nectarine, 3035 for white nectarine, 4042 for red plum and 4040 for black plum. The recall is also for the fruit sold in two-pound bags. The CDC confirmed an investigation is ongoing to determine if any additional fruit or products made with this fruit may be contaminated.

Listeria infection is especially harmful to people who are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or with weakened immune systems due to its likeliness to spread beyond their gut to other parts of their body, according to the CDC.

The symptoms, including fever, muscle aches and tiredness for those who had caught the disease, may begin within two weeks after consuming the contaminated food. They may also occur as early as the same day or as late as 10 weeks after exposure, the CDC notes on its website.

Although the recalled fruits are no longer available in stores, they may still exist in the homes of consumers for later use, the CDC said in its release, adding that consumers should check their freezers and discard or return the fruits that meet the criteria. The agency also urged consumers to clean surfaces and containers that have touched the fruit.

In a statement to ABC News on Monday, Amy Philpott, a spokeswoman for HMC Group Marketing said, “There is nothing more important to us than providing safe, high-quality fruit to consumers.”

“We never want anyone to become ill from eating fresh fruit, and our hearts go out to those affected by the outbreak,” she added. “We are working tirelessly with the FDA to investigate how the contamination happened.”

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