The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports, this outbreak appears to be over. However, recalled products may still be in people’s homes. Consumers unaware of the recalls could continue to eat the products and get sick.
On January 6, 2015, Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, California voluntarily recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples because environmental testing revealed contamination with Listeria monocytogenes at the firm’s apple-packing facility.
On January 18, 2015, FDA laboratory analyses using whole genome sequencing (WGS) showed that these Listeria isolates were highly related to the outbreak strains.
A total of 35 people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from 12 states.
Of these, 34 people were hospitalized. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of the seven deaths reported.
Eleven illnesses were pregnancy-related (occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn infant), with one illness resulting in a fetal loss (A fetal loss? Who writes this stuff?).
Three invasive illnesses (meningitis) were among otherwise healthy children aged 5–15 years.
Twenty-eight (90%) of the 31 ill people interviewed reported eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before becoming ill.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) identified one case of listeriosis in Canada that is genetically related to the U.S. outbreak.