The United States Food & Drug Administration announced a nationwide recall of Granny Smith and Gala apples after the presence of Listeria monocytogenes was confirmed at an apple processing facility in Shafter, according to the Monterey County Health Department.
Apples should be thrown away if they come from grower Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield or if the source cannot be determined, according to Dr. Edward L. Moreno, a public health officer with the Monterey County Health Department.
Listeriosis can be potentially fatal. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, nausea and a stiff neck.
Moreno is encouraging consumers who are may have purchased Granny Smith apples, Gala apples or caramel apples to contact their grocer and determine whether or not they were supplied by Bidart Bros.
The last time Bidart Bros. shipped Granny Smith apples to customers was Dec. 2, 2014 — but they may still be in circulation if the fruit was processed or frozen.
Moreno said that in many cases recalls are issued after enough time has passed so that many of the contaminated food items have already been consumed or thrown away, but the health department still circulates the information as processed or frozen foods tend to have a long shelf-life.
“A lot of times it’s been so long that most people don’t even have it anymore,” Moreno said. “Even if it’s been weeks, some of these processed foods can sit a while.”
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