CDC Issues Warning Over Fruit Due To Deadly Bacteria

By Jason Hall

November 21, 2023

Fruit basket, elevated view
Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning of a deadly bacteria linked to multiple fruits.

One person has died and 10 others were hospitalized after eating peaches, plums and nectarines distributed by HMC Farms -- a brand sold nationwide -- that resulted in listeria.

"Investigators are working to determine if any additional fruit or products made with this fruit may be contaminated," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated in a food safety alert shared on its website.

HMC Farms voluntarily recalled its peaches, plums and nectarines sold in stores between May 1 and November 15, 2022 and between May 1 and November 15, 2023, "because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems," according to an FDA.gov recall. The HMC Farms products are commonly sold at Walmart and Sam's Clubs and have been linked to listeria outbreak cases in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio as of November 17, according to the CDC.

The lone deadly case was reported in California. Another person who was pregnant at the time of consumption had preterm labor, according to the CDC.

Listeria symptoms commonly include fever and muscle aches, as well as cases of diarrhea or other gastrointestinal issues, headache, confusion and/or convulsions. An estimated 1,600 cases of listeriosis are caused by the Listeria monocytogene in the United States annually, which includes an estimated death toll of 260 patients per year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Elderly people, pregnant women, infants and adults with compromised immune systems typically experience the most severe symptoms of Listeria.

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