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Health Alert: Listeria Outbreak Sparks Nationwide Recall of Peaches, Plums, and Nectarines 2024-04-17 05:30:28

Health Alert: Nationwide Recall of HMC Farms Peaches, Plums, and Nectarines Due to Listeria Outbreak

In a critical development, HMC Farms, based in Kingsburg, California, has initiated a nationwide recall of peaches, plums, and nectarines distributed and sold across the United States. Federal safety regulators, responding to a listeria outbreak, disclosed that the contaminated fruit has been linked to 11 reported illnesses, including one tragic fatality and 10 hospitalizations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a food safety alert on Monday, emphasizing ongoing investigations to determine if additional fruit or related products may be compromised. The FDA's discovery of listeria in a sample of HMC Farms peaches in late October triggered the recall, encompassing products sold between May 1 and November 15 of this year, as well as the same period in 2022.

The recalled fruit, distributed through major retailers such as Walmart and Sam's Clubs, carries the risk of contamination by listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can result in severe, and in some cases, fatal infections. As of November 17, reported cases of listeria-related illnesses have emerged in seven states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, and Ohio. Tragically, one person in California has succumbed to the infection, and another individual fell ill while pregnant, experiencing preterm labor.

Listeria infections pose significant threats, especially to vulnerable populations such as young children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can range from high fever and severe headaches to stomach pain, with potential complications including miscarriages and stillbirths.

The recalled fruit, identified by 2-pound bags labeled "HMC Farms" or "Signature Farms," or as individual fruit with a "USA-E-U" code and number, should be promptly discarded by consumers. Notably, organically grown fruit is exempt from the recall.

The CDC and HMC Farms urge consumers to thoroughly check their homes, including freezers, for the recalled products. For inquiries, the company can be reached at (844) 483-3867, Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

As the situation unfolds, this recall serves as a crucial reminder for consumers to prioritize their health and safety by promptly disposing of the affected fruit and staying informed about ongoing updates from health authorities.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch in New York.

Urgent Action Required Amidst Listeria Outbreak

The nationwide recall of peaches, plums, and nectarines from HMC Farms serves as an urgent call to action amid a concerning listeria outbreak. With 11 reported cases, including one tragic death, and 10 hospitalizations, the situation demands immediate attention and awareness.

The gravity of the situation is underscored by the potential severity of listeria infections, particularly for vulnerable populations. The recall, affecting products distributed between May 1 and November 15 of this year, and the same period in 2022, is a critical measure to safeguard public health.

Consumers are urged to diligently check their homes, including freezers, for the recalled fruit, identified by specific packaging details. Organically grown fruit is exempt from the recall, offering a crucial distinction for consumers.

The collaboration between federal safety regulators, the CDC, and HMC Farms highlights the swift response to address the outbreak and mitigate further risks. The transparency in communication, evident in the detailed recall information and contact details for consumer inquiries, is pivotal in ensuring public awareness and safety.

As consumers play a crucial role in curbing the spread of listeria, swift disposal of the affected fruit is paramount. The company's hotline, (844) 483-3867, remains accessible for any questions or concerns, emphasizing the commitment to transparency and consumer welfare.

In conclusion, the urgency of the situation calls for a collective effort to ensure the prompt removal of the recalled fruit from households and heightened vigilance in monitoring health. This incident underscores the importance of ongoing vigilance in food safety and the need for swift, coordinated responses to protect public health.

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