Recall alert: Routine sampling leads to Listeria recalls of fruit in the U.S.

Fruit products originally sourced from Chile, and processed in a New York facility, have been recalled in the U.S.

The recalls include thousands of cartons of nectarines, peaches and plums after routine sampling by the New York facility found Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) contamination in finished product. The products were to be sold in major retailers in 18 states.

No illnesses have been reported so far. Any product purchased that has been recalled can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund or thrown out. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration details on its website the PLU sticker numbers of the products involved.

Investigations are ongoing as to how L. mono contaminated the fresh fruit.

About L. mono

L. mono is a troublesome strain of Listeria for food processors and consumers alike, because its symptoms can become serious and in the food processing plant, it can be difficult to get rid of. It is usually associated with ready-to-eat deli meats or hot dogs, but can crop up anywhere, including frozen vegetables. It’s a hardy bacteria that can grow even in colder conditions.

Listeriosis symptoms include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea and/or other gastrointestinal symptoms — although symptoms may not be the same across all individuals. Those who are pregnant may experience a fever, aches, fetal loss or other harm to their newborns (such a meningitis). Older individuals, or those with compromised immune systems, may also experience gastroenteritis or no symptoms at all.

Most people recover on their own without treatment, but younger, elderly and immunocompromised people face bigger risks.

Listeriosis cases can be prevented when food producers exercise rigorous cleaning and monitoring programs, and when consumers keep their own kitchens clean, and always cook food to an adequate temperature.

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