United Family Assures No Apples Contaminated With Listeria in Stock
The United Family of Stores pulled all Happy Apple Brand Caramelized Apples from shelves following a recent outbreak of Listeria stemming from prepackaged caramel apples linked to 7 deaths and assured no contaminated apples are in stock.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Bidart Brothers of Bakersfield, California, voluntarily recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples after environmental testing revealed the bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes at their packaging facility on January 6.
On January 8, and Food and Drug Administration laboratory analyses concluded the strain of Listeria found at the packaging facility was indistinguishable from that of the outbreak.
The CDC reported 32 cases in 11 states during the current outbreak as of December 30 and again on January 10. Thirty-one cases required hospitalization with 7 reported deaths.
Following the outbreak, Happy Apples and other caramel apple producers announced a voluntary recall of their products including those in United Family stores.
United’s Director of Produce Joseph Bunting released a statement on Tuesday, January 13:
In response to the food safety incidents tied to caramel covered apples, we want to assure guests of United Supermarkets, Amigos, Albertsons Market, Market Street and United Express stores that no products were purchased directly from Bidart Brothers, the apple supplier linked to Listeria cases in recent weeks, according to the CDC. However, we have removed all Happy Apple Brand Caramelized Apples from our shelves as of November 10, 2014, out of an abundance of caution.
According to the CDC, no new cases have been reported since December 30.