Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak.

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall
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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, 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)

And it kind of puts Walmart in an 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." (Via 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. Baked goods that were made using the recalled fruit are at risk of carrying the bacteria as well.