SLO County Public Health warns of fruit contaminated with listeria, salmonella. What to know

San Luis Obispo County Public Health is warning residents that their fruit may be contaminated with listeria or salmonella as part of two unrelated national outbreaks.

A listeria outbreak — linked to whole peaches, nectarines and plums — has been reported 11 times in seven states while a salmonella outbreak related to cantaloupes affected more than 100 people across 34 states.

Recalls have been issued for whole peaches, nectarines and plums from HMC farms because of the listeria outbreak and TruFresh brand cantaloupes because of salmonella.

HMC is headquartered in Kingsburg, roughly 20 miles southeast of Fresno and TruFresh is based in Nogales, Arizona.

The Public Health Department added HMC fruit has been sold in San Luis Obispo County.

Salmonella linked to more than 100 cases in U.S.

According to the CDC, recalled cantaloupes may have a sticker that says “Malichita” or “Rudy,” with the number “4050”, and “Product of Mexico/produit du Mexique.”

The agency also warns these cantaloupes were used in the following pre-cut fruit products:

  • Kwik Trip cantaloupe cups, mixed fruit cups, and fruit tray with sell-by dates from November 4 through December 3

  • Freshness Guaranteed and RaceTrac cantaloupe chunks, seasonal blend, melon mixes, and fruit mixes with best-by dates from November 7 through November 12

  • Vinyard cantaloupe cubes, melon medleys, and fruit medleys sold in Oklahoma stores from October 30 through November 10

  • Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Trader Joe’s cantaloupe chunks, mixed melons, fruit medleys, and fruit trays with best-by dates from October 28 through November 8

  • ALDI whole cantaloupes, cantaloupe chunks, and pineapple spears with best-by dates from October 27 through October 31

  • Bix Produce cantaloupe fruit cups and mixed fruit cups with sell-by dates of October 25 and October 26

San Luis Obispo County health officials said it can be difficult to know what brand of cantaloupe is used in pre-cut mixes and products.

“If you don’t know, the safest choice is to not eat it,” the agency said.

The cantaloupe salmonella outbreak has been linked to 117 illnesses, 61 hospitalizations and two deaths across 43 states, according to CDC data as of Nov. 30. California has reported one illness.

The CDC urges consumers to not eat any recalled products and to wash surfaces recalled products may have touched.

Severe salmonella symptoms include, diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F, diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and inability to keep liquids down, and dehydration. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, the agency says, call a healthcare provider.

Adults 65 or older, children under 5 and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get severe sickness from salmonella, according to the CDC.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products may obtain additional information by contacting Rafael Roiz, Tru Fresh’s representative Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time at 520-394-7370.

SLO County Public Health: Listeria recall impacts SLO County

Three cases of listeria have been reported in California as of Nov. 20, 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 Nov. 24, 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.

This recall extends nationwide, including San Luis Obispo County, County Public Health said.

The number of people sick, the CDC said, is likely higher than what has been reported.

Recalled peaches, nectarines and plums should have been taken off shelves at retail stores. If you find any recalled fruit 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.

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 — 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 said.

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