Five deaths have been reported out of 29 Listeria-related illnesses in the United States in a recent outbreak that has been linked to Happy Apple Brand Caramel Apples produced out of Orosi, California and Union, Missouri. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, “Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness.”
California Department of public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Ron Chapman released a warning Christmas Day to abstain from eating any of the Happy Apple packaged caramel apples due to a risk of infection with Listeria monocytogenes. According to the CDPH release, cases of the illness have been associated with multiple brands of apples. Happy Apple has voluntarily recalled all varieties of apples with best if used by dates between August 25 and November 23, 2014.
Of the 29 reported cases of Listeria infection, one of the five related deaths has occurred in California. Cases have been spread among ten different states, as of December 22. Three of the five deaths were linked to Listeria infection. It was not clear whether the forth death was the result of the illness, and a fifth was determined unrelated.
CDC recommends that consumers abstain from eating any brand of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples. So far reports indicate that no illnesses have resulted from the consumption of apples not coated in caramel or prepackaged or caramel candies consumed separately.
CDPH reports, “Symptoms of Listeria infection may include high fever, headache, and neck stiffness.” Anyone experiencing ill effects following consumption of caramel apple products is encouraged to consult his or her health care provider.
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