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Trader Joe's, Costco, Walmart, Kroger, Sam's Club and Wegmans among those affected by Listeria outbreak

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

If you've picked up any stone fruit recently, you might need to throw it out - a voluntary recall has been issued for peaches, nectarines, pluots, and plums due to a possible listeria outbreak.

The Wawona Packing Company announced a voluntary recall Tuesday after two nectarines and a peach tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, a dangerous bacteria.

Wawona distributes its stone fruit to many of the large retail chains in the U.S, leading stores like Costco, Trader Joe's, Walmart, Kroger and Sam's Club to issue notices of the recall to their customers. (Via Chris Potter / CC BY 2.0, Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0, Getty Images

‚ÄčThe recall has put Walmart in a particularly awkward spot given their recent ad campaign promoting where they get their peaches.

"As a peach grower, I know the tastiest fruit is the freshest fruit, and how to spot that perfect moment of ripeness. I also know that nothing is more important than your reputation, that's why my peaches go to Walmart."

Wawona's president said in a statement that the company is not yet aware of any illnesses caused by the recalled products and that by "taking the precautionary step of recalling product, we will minimize even the slightest risk to public heath."

According to the CDC, Listeria primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and adults with weakened immune systems. It estimates that about 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to the infection. (Via Howard Hughes Medical Institute)

CNN notes that the largest listeria outbreak in U.S. history happened in 2011 when cantaloupes from a Colorado farm killed almost three dozen people. The farmers responsible were eventually sentenced to five years probation.

And the Los Angeles Times points out that it's not just fresh fruit that's being recalled, either. According to CNN, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., has recalled several baked goods that contain Wawona Packing Co. fruit, including cakes, pies, tarts and pastries. (For a full list, see FDA.gov.)

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Truwriter July 23 2014 at 8:06 AM

The US media always reports these stories as though we should hate or ostracize the stores that sold the tainted fruit or produce. Why are these stores involved in these events? Because they sell food. Its the food supply system that they must live with as well as us, they just make products available. they don't want to sell tainted fruit but they are at the mercy of the system just as we are. Nevetheless, the media which is really nothing but a medium to sell hysteria depicts the stores as evil and negligent, etc. And the people who wear hates made of hemp will run around, with the superiority they think they have reached and tell us we should buy locally..but locally grown food is more apt to have bugs and bacteria than the mass produced stuff that does at least have an inspection system. It can come from your own garden as well.

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3 replies
kavoom July 23 2014 at 8:47 AM

Un frickin believable to use the word outbreak with this proactive recall by the company behind this. NO ONE is sick NO ONE has died. I am in public health and this stupid media coverage has turned NOTHING into something because of stupid stories like this using words like outbreak to Hyperbolize nothing. Stop it so we in public health can do our jobs instead of dealing with worried well who have nothing to worry about. You already took up two hours of my life yesterday and I expect the same or more today due to this stuff.

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1 reply
clarkecoln kavoom July 23 2014 at 1:25 PM

sealtheborder11... you are missing kavoom's point. It's fine to notify of a recall, but it's totally unnecessary to drive hysteria and dramatize things by using terms like "outbreak," etc. There is no "outbreak" here. There is simply a positive test for listeria monocytogenes and the food manufacturer is recalling VOLUNTARILY as a precaution. It's frustrating when media blows things out of proportion. If the media would stick with the facts instead of editorializing things, people would be safer and more well informed.

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AOL9.7 July 23 2014 at 1:25 PM

THESE FRUITS ARE NOT GROWN ON/IN GROUND SOIL....ARE THE AFFECTED FRUITS BEING PICKED UP FROM THE GROUND WHERE THEY FELL?
PICKERS, HANDLERS, PACKERS.....
HOW AND WHY?

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Fred July 23 2014 at 7:44 AM

Take it back and get your money back, don't give anything to these strores. DON'T throw it AWAY LIKE THIS ARTICLE TELLS YOU TOO.

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dozens July 23 2014 at 4:52 PM

hey...ever hear of washing your produce.....dahhhhh...

this is down right stewpud....

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... July 23 2014 at 3:55 PM

Bel Air / Raleys Sacramento CA. should be on the list of stores as well. Was very ill Sat not quite sure why until notice came from Raleys Sat evening of the recall. I had eaten peaches Thursday and Friday. I have just finished 5 months of treatment for myasthenia gravis MG autoimmune disease.

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lovelaurie July 23 2014 at 12:56 PM

Von's, or Safeway, should, also, be included in store listings. Diarrhea began after eating a peach bought at Von's. Really good tasting peach! Not knowing what caused the diarrhea, ate two more peaches purchased at Ralph's, or Kroger. Exacerbated the diarrhea. I was lucky not to have experienced any of the other symptoms. No more stone fruit!

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1 reply
AOL9.7 lovelaurie July 23 2014 at 1:27 PM

Be well quickly!

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Kate July 23 2014 at 12:27 PM

The signs were up at every register in my local Trader Joe's yesterday. Through sheer coincidence I bought my nectarines at a farmer's market last weekend, so I won't have to return anything.

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purehawk1 July 23 2014 at 11:53 AM

Wow, you can kill 36 people and only receive 5 years probation? Why even sentence the farmers at all?

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quincy_maxwell July 23 2014 at 11:36 AM

Trader Joes is doing the right thing, albeit a bit late, but Walmart will drag their feet and not want to lose a penny in possible profits. After all, they need fuel for their private jets and yahts.

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