January 6, 2015 — Happy Apple Co. is expanding their recall for caramel apples to include Kroger Brand candy apples that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The products include plain caramel apples and candy apples topped with nuts or sprinkles. They are marked with best-by dates between September 15 and November 18.
The recall is being issued “out of an abundance of caution,” because the products expired more than six weeks ago. However, Listeria has an incubation period of up to 70 days, so it is possible that some people who ate contaminated apples still have not gotten sick yet.
The pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples were sold in single-packs and 3-packs. They were distributed in Kroger supermarkets in Arizona, Alaska, Kansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Happy Apples was the first company to issue a recall after they were notified about possible contamination by Bidart Brothers, a California-based supplier of apples. Happy Apples ceased operations at the end of October as part of a normal seasonal shut-down.
As of December 30, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported 32 illnesses in 11 states, including 31 hospitalizations and six deaths. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of the deaths. Ten pregnant women have been infected, including one illness resulting in the loss of an unborn baby.
According to warnings from the FDA:
“Consumers should not eat commercially-produced, prepackaged whole caramel apples, including those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided.”
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