California shoppers who purchased fresh nectarines at area Costco stores in California and 17 other states need to be aware of a recall that may affect their products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that Jac. Vandenberg Inc., issued the recall on thousands of pounds of fresh fruit, citing the presence of listeria monocytogenes it found during a routine sample inspection. The fruit was distributed to these big-box retailers for sale in their fresh produce aisles.
More than 1,700 cases of peaches, 1,200 cases of nectarines and 350 cases of plums have been recalled. In California, only Costco products are affected; Walmart and Aldi stores in other states received the contaminated fruit. The recalled products in California are nectarines branded Rio Duero; the fruit is packaged in a four-pound plastic clamshell carton that bears the EAN number of 7804650090212. Any affected products should be returned to Costco for a full refund, notes the FDA.
So far, no reported listeria infection cases have been noted during the recall, says the FDA. The organization goes on to note that listeria bacteria exposure can result in “serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.” Infection with listeria, known as listeriosis, can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth among pregnant women.
Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, stiff neck, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea and general weakness. Notably, listeriosis has an incubation period of up to 70 days, so symptoms may not crop up for a few days or even a couple of months after exposure.
Washing fresh produce is important; doing so can reduce your chance of being exposed to listeria and other bacterium. Listeria thrives in cold environments, particularly the refrigerator, and is more often seen in meats and raw dairy, although it is not unusual to see it in fresh produce.
Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia were also affected by the recall.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, a nonprofit bipartisan consumer advocacy group, one in six U.S. residents will be affected by a foodborne illness each year. Foodborne illnesses result in around 3,000 deaths and 128,000 hospitalizations each year.
The organization notes that listeria contamination is not as prevalent as salmonella, which resulted in the recall of 12.1 million pounds of beef and 164,000 pounds of ground turkey just in 2018. E. coli is also a major contaminant and often the focus of recalls, as witnessed by the many romaine lettuces recalls and the recalls of Goldfish and Ritz crackers that same year. Overall, the group warns that food recalls are on the rise, with a 10 percent uptick seen in the previous six years. The most alarming is the number of Class 1 recalls seen by consumers since 2013; there were 83 percent more of these more-serious recalls issued.
If you or someone you love has been sickened by a foodborne illness, contact our San Francisco product liability attorney now to discuss your case details.