Deadly listeria outbreak and fruit recall started in Fresno County. Here’s what to know

A listeria outbreak — linked to whole peaches, nectarines and plums — has been reported 11 times in seven states.

The source: Kingsburg-based HMC Farms, 18 miles southeast of Fresno.

Three cases have been reported in California as of Monday, the largest number other than Florida, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The other five cases were reported in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio. According to a statement, 10 people have been hospitalized and one person in California has died.

The timeline of the outbreak spans from 2018 to August.

Interviews with infected people and lab testing confirmed whole peaches, nectarines and plums from HMC farms are “making people sick.” The Food and Drug Administration found listeria in a peach sample, the CDC stated. The company voluntarily recalled its fruits Friday, sold across the U.S. between May 1 and Nov. 15, 2022, and between May 1 and Nov. 15 this year due to potential contamination.

The number of people sick, the CDC states, is likely higher than what has been reported. The FDA shared images of specific fruit bags, boxes and labels of HMC products that are being recalled on their website.

What you should do next

Recalled peaches, nectarines and plums should have been taken off shelves at retail stores.

Do not eat the fruit. If you find any in your home, throw it away.

Clean your refrigerator, freezer, containers and any other surfaces that came in contact with the food because listeria can easily spread.

This is not connected to the salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupe, announced by the CDC on Friday, with one case recorded in California.

Questions should be directed to 844-483-3867, HMC’s consumer information desk, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, the FDA stated.

Listeria symptoms

These symptoms — fever, muscle aches, lethargy, headache, stiff neck, disorientation and balance loss, and seizures — can materialize as early as the same day once you ingest food with listeria, according to the CDC.

Those most vulnerable to the bacterial illness include pregnant people, those 65 and older and individuals with weakened immune systems.

“This is because Listeria is more likely to spread beyond their gut to other parts of their body, resulting in a severe condition known as invasive listeriosis,” the CDC wrote in a statement.

Other fruit products are being investigated for possible contamination, the CDC states.