Listeria Outbreak Linked to Candied Apples Kills 5

Serious Listeria Outbreak in Prepackaged Candied Apples Leads to 5 Deaths

listeria outbreakA serious listeria outbreak has led to the deaths of 5 people and hospitalizations in 21 others, and has been linked back to prepackaged candied apples.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that, between October and November this year, 28 people in 10 states in the US have been infected with listeria because of the candied apples, and developed listeriosis, which is a life-threatening illness. The listeria outbreak is so dangerous that the CDC urges consumers to not ingest the “commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples” as it finds the source that is infecting the candied apples.

Minnesota has been the hardest hit by the listeria outbreak – the state saw four infections that led to two of the five deaths.

Listeria can cause a potentially fatal infection in those with compromised immune systems such as older adults, pregnant women, and young children. People with stronger immune systems could experience symptoms such as headache, stiffness, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Listeria can pass to the fetus in pregnant women, causing miscarriage. According to the CDC, there were 1,651 cases of listeriosis nationally between 2009 and 2011 – the infection was fatal in 21% of the reported cases.

Listeria outbreaks are rare, although many food items are recalled every year due to potential contamination. A major outbreak in 2011 from contaminated cantaloupes spread across 28 states, which killed 33 people and sickened 147. The owners of the cantaloupe farm were criminally charged for the outbreak.

Investigators involved in tracking down the source of the listeria believe it is more likely harbored in the caramel, not the apple itself. Listeria is often found in products that have milk or lactose, as well as meat like beef or poultry.

The two people who died from listeria poisoning in Minnesota were all between the ages of 59 and 90. Other cases involve younger children, which is not unusual for listeria. None of the cases involve a pregnant woman or infant, two groups at highest risk of developing listeriosis.

Unusually, three cases of older children developed meningitis related to listeria infection. None of the three children died, and the investigators believe that the infection occurred in that age group because they are the most likely to eat candied apples.

Defective Products Can Lead to Health or Food Recalls

Every year, thousands of consumers sustain serious injuries from defective products, whether broken bones from a car accident, or a serious illness from a food-borne pathogen. Many of these injuries could be avoided if the manufacturers or distributors of these products took additional steps to ensure consumer safety. Defective products that commonly cause injuries include medical devices, pharmaceutical products, food recalls, and other defective products such as toys, cars and automotive parts.

There are a number of reasons that defective products make it to our shelves:

  • Defective manufacturing
  • Inadequate testing
  • Food-borne pathogens
  • Design defects
  • Marketing Misrepresentation

Consumers that have been harmed by defective products such as drugs, medical devices, improperly-sealed food, or other products, may be eligible to receive legal remedies.

The Strom Law Firm Protects Citizens Harmed by Outbreaks, Including Listeria

The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm keep a close watch on recalls of dangerous and defective products in the US. We aim to protect our clients’ health and safety, and hold manufacturers to the highest possible standard of safety. Product recalls are especially important because defective drugs, medical devices, food, and toys can seriously injure or even kill consumers. If you or a loved one have experienced severe, life-limiting side effects from a defective food, product or drug, and believe that your pain stems from a product, drug, or food recall such as a Listeria food recall that came too late, you may be entitled to compensation. The Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today. 803.252.4800

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