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US: Listeria outbreak set apple industry on a targeted course

Photo: Ian Kershaw / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Food Safety News: Sometimes when something that “just can’t happen” does happen, valuable lessons are learned.

That was the case when some batches of commercially produced, packaged, whole caramel apples turned out to be the cause of a listeriosis outbreak in 2014-15 that infected 35 people from 12 states, putting 34 of them in the hospital. Listeria monocytogenes bacteria contributed to at least three of the seven deaths that were linked to the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The onset of illnesses ranged from Oct. 2014 to Feb. 12, 2015, when CDC announced that the outbreak “appears to be over.”

When the outbreak began, no one suspected apples. After all, fresh apples had never been linked to any major food safety outbreaks. Quite the contrary.

Read the full article at the Food Safety News website