The Missouri company that makes Happy Apple brand caramel apples has issued a recall after the Centers for Disease Control warned consumers that the apples could be linked to a deadly outbreak of listeria.
Happy Apple Co. announced the recall Wednesday involving caramel apples with a "Best Used By" date of between August 25 and November 23, reports The Washington Post. The apples were sold in grocery stores and at other food outlets in packs of one, three, four, and eight.
29 Infected by Listeria, 5 Dead
According to the CDC, as of Monday at least 29 people in 10 states have been infected by the strain of Listeria monocytogenes causing the latest outbreak. All 29 have been hospitalized, with five later dying, although only three of those deaths have been confirmed to be linked to listeriosis, the disease caused by listeria infection.
Listeriosis is caused by eating food contaminated with listeria and primarily affects pregnant women, newborn children, and adults with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of listeriosis include stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, muscle aches, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. In pregnant women, listeriosis can lead to miscarriages, still births, and severe infections in newborn children.
Apples No Longer Available in Stores
The apples subject to the recall are no longer available in grocery stores, but were sold in 31 states. Consumers who have recalled apples can return them to the store where the apples were purchased, or destroy them. Consumers with questions can contact the company by phone at (800) 527-7532 during normal business hours or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At least one product liability lawsuit has been filed related to the outbreak. Grocery store chain Safeway is being sued for the wrongful death of an 81-year-old California woman who died from listeriosis after purchasing a caramel apple from a Safeway store.