In the department of Everything Has Listeria: Ready Pac Foods is recalling a couple hundred thousand cases of apples over listeria contamination concerns. Ready Pac is the company that supplies diced apples and apple slices to McDonald’s, Burger King, Wegmans Food Markets and other retailers across the United States.
The reason for the recall is listeria found on equipment at Ready Pac’s facilities. So far, no illnesses have been reported, the company said.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause sickness and even death when ingested, though in healthy adults the symptoms are usually milder (muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting). It’s especially dangerous for babies, older adults and people with compromised immune systems. In pregnant women, it can cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
In addition to being sold at McDonald’s and Burger King, the apples are sold as caramel and peanut butter dippers at Wawa convenience stores and in fruit salads, yogurt and pre-made sandwiches under the “Ready Pac,” “Hannaford,” “Safeway Farms” and “Wegmans” labels. The recall applies to apples shipped to 36 states and Washington, D.C.
Until recently, listeria contamination was mostly a problem in things like lunch meats or hot dogs. But 2011 and 2012 have seen listeria outbreaks in onions, cantaloupe, bagged salad and ready-to-eat meatballs.
States affected by the apple recall include: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.