Listeria fears lead to recall on sliced apples

Source of Article:

By Andy Nelson

(Jan. 15, 10:11 a.m.) A Wisconsin shipper is recalling nearly 50,000 pounds of sliced apples and has temporarily stopped production after listeria was discovered in the company’s packing shed through in-house testing.

Richland Center-based Richland Hills stopped shipping and began recalling 49,450 pounds of sliced-apple packs from retail and foodservice customers in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Louisiana the week of Jan. 5, said Tom Henderson, the company’s quality assurance manager.

No illnesses have been reported as a result of the contamination, Henderson said Jan. 14.

Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail and elderly people and people with weakened immune systems.

Production will be halted while the Food and Drug Administration and the company investigate, Henderson said.

Recalled product includes 4-ounce packs of Richland Hills-brand Apple Dippers, 6-ounce Richland Hills Organic Sliced Apples, 6-ounce Crunch Pak Organic Sliced Apples and 2-ounce Richland Hills Apple Nibblers with use-by dates ranging from Jan. 26-30.

Richland Hills is a co-packer for Crunch Pak, Cashmere, Wash. Tony Freytag, Crunch Pak’s marketing director, said the company received notice of the recall Jan. 11. The recall only affected one of Crunch Pak’s customers, Freytag said. Crunch Pak provides Crunch Pak-labeled film to Richland Hills, which then packs and ships its own apples under the Crunch Pak brand.

Richland Hills’ Apple Dippers brand is not related to the Apple Dippers served at McDonald’s restaurants. Richland Hills is not a McDonald’s supplier, said Danya Proud, senior manager of U.S. media relations for Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald‘s.

Other recalled product includes a variety of sizes of Pearson Foods fruit trays that contain apples and are dated Jan. 19 or before and a variety of sizes of Richland Hills sliced, diced, quartered and half-apple foodservice packs dated Jan. 26-30.



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