Towards the end of last week, New York-based fruit distributor Jac Vandenberg Inc announced a voluntary recall over listeria monocytogenes concerns, after detecting bacteria during routine quality assurance testing. In the announcement, which they posted through the US Food and Drug Administration website, the distributor warned about listeria infection, commenting that the bacteria “can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.”
Fortunately, the announcement comes before any illnesses have been reported in connection with this potential contamination. Still, the affected fruit has been distributed through 18 states, which makes the recall a somewhat major concern. The following states, then, have been affected by this recall: California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, West Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia. In addition, the recall appears to focus on “small retail establishments,” but the fruit can also be found at major grocers including Costco, Walmart, Aldi, Market Basket, Hannaford, and Fairway Market stores.
Looking more specifically at the recall, the announcement specifically mentions peaches and nectarines as the source of the potential contamination. In the announcement, the listing includes approximately 1,727 cartons of peaches and about 1,207 cartons of nectarines as well as 365 cartons of plums. Furthermore, the recall lists that the peaches and nectarines would have been sold in bulk with PLUs that contain 4044, 3035, or 4378; and would also have originated in Chile.
As a reminder, listeria infection can manifest in symptoms such as high fever, stiffness, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and severe headache. Most of the time, listeria infection is not too serious. The symptoms are typically acute and short term, but can pose more serious threats to the very young and very old as well as those with weaker immune systems. In addition, listeria infection can cause miscarriage and/or stillbirth among pregnant women.
As with any other food recall, health experts advise that anyone who may have purchased these fruits at these locations within these states should return them to the store for a full refund. Also you can email the distributor if you have additional questions.