That’s a risk management decision: Kroger pulls caramel apples from shelves

In the world of risk analysis the assessors calculate what’s the likelihood of a problem and present different scenarios to risk managers. And the managers weigh the consequences, options and make decisions on what to do. Like not selling unrefrigerated caramel apples anymore (or until risks can be reduced to whatever level they deem acceptable).caramel-apple

According to the Wall Street Journal, yesterday’s publication of listeria growth in caramel apples from Kathy Glass’ group at Wisconsin has led to a swift risk management decision. No more unrefrigerated caramel apples.

Kroger said it made the decision based on new scientific evidence that the product, if left unrefrigerated after being pierced with a stick, could be at risk for the bacterial disease. The grocer said it is acting out of caution after reviewing a study published by the American Society of Microbiology.

Payton Pruett, Kroger’s vice president of food safety, said Kroger believes the health risk is minimal. She (he -ben) said the company is open to carrying the caramel apples again in the future and that it will work with suppliers to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.


This entry was posted in Food Safety Policy, Listeria and tagged , , by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.