Kansas prisons yield repeat food safety violations
Source : http://cjonline.com/news/2015-01-04/kansas-prisons-yield-repeat-food-safety-violations
By Kansas Department of Corrections staff (Jan 04, 2015)
Dirty kitchen conditions and violations repeated for several months are among some of the more consistent findings in food safety inspections for Kansas prisons.
Although the corrections department adheres to Kansas Department of Agriculture food safety guidelines, like restaurants, it doesn’t rely on KDA staff to do the inspections.
Instead, both monthly and sporadic audits are conducted by Kansas Department of Corrections employees, some of whom work in the facilities they inspect.
“I hear what you’re saying in terms of looking like it’s all under one DOC umbrella,” said Jeremy Barclay, spokesman for the KDOC. “But we interact with so many different state agencies and branches of government and different divisions within the agency, that it’s pretty secure.”
The inspections cover the 19 months between January 2013 and July 2014. They include seven of the state’s 10 prisons and total 19 facilities, such as satellite units. The KDOC filled the request free of charge, because another entity already had requested the inspections. Inspections weren’t provided for the Topeka, Lansing and Larned juvenile correctional facilities because they weren’t in the original request.
The nearly 340 inspections show noncompliance and deficiencies month after month at several facilities.
The Kansas Juvenile Correctional Facility in Topeka, for example, repeated several mistakes for at least 10 months, including not taking proper temperature logs; not enforcing handwashing and glove use; not having employees and staff restrain hair properly; not keeping accurate chemical logs; and not having inmate staff up to date on food safety training.
“Three persons seen licking fingers and continuing to work,” reads a May 2013inspection of the KJCF.
“Gloves worn to handle bread and meat patties used to touch face and pick item up off floor and touch door handles,” according to an April 2014 inspection of the facility.
Handwashing issues were noted in 11 of the facility’s 19 inspections.
But the KJCF isn’t alone in its repetitive errors.
In the Ellsworth Correctional Facility, inspectors reported issues with bugs in the lights for 11 months.
At the Winfield Correctional Facility, a knife was used to keep a dishwasher’s fill switch in position the full 19 months.
At the El Dorado Correctional Facility, waste containers went without covers for eight months, a soap dispenser remained out of service for 11 months, fans went without cleaning for seven months and water leaked from fountain fixtures on the west wall for four months.
The term “filthy” shows up in 11 inspections, “dirty” in 54 and “bugs” in 46 — though the vast majority of those instances refer to insects filling light fixtures. The data include 338 inspections.
“Hygiene issues are always something we have to work with,” Barclay said. “We’re housing a host of individuals that cleaning hasn’t always been a priority in their life. We’re re-teaching from the ground up.”
The department can take administrative action — like fines and reconsidering the contract — if the food service provider isn’t meeting the terms of the contract, he said. However, he added Aramark, the food service contractor for most of the prisons, has demonstrated it will take whatever administrative steps required to ensure that isn’t necessary.
The KDOC serves about 10,000 inmates three times each day, yet have relatively few violations when it comes to proper temperatures or insects — violations that often plague restaurants that don’t serve nearly that amount of meals in a day.
Barclay said he thinks that has to do with the nature of the prison food system. It, unlike restaurants, is a 24/7 process. Just when one crew is wrapping up lunch, the next one comes in to start dinner.
“You always have somebody on site,” he said. “It’s a continual go-go-go process.”
Also, he said, prisons for the most part deal with processed foods, so the chances of undercooking something rarely comes up.
“The food is so processed, there's not really a food safety risk,” he said.
Unlike the KDA, the prison system doesn’t distinguish between critical and noncritical food safety violations, and its record keeping is radically different. Each prison appears to have its own inspection format, making comparisons difficult.
Also, it wasn’t always clear when something was a deficiency or merely a suggested improvement. As most of the inspections were entered manually into The Topeka Capital-Journal’s online database, some numbers of violations might be different than anticipated.
The inspection schedule differs, as well. While restaurants are inspected annually, unless follow-up visits are required, each correctional facility has a monthly inspection conducted by the safety officer employed at the facility.
Every so often, a food service contract manager from central administration will perform an audit — usually announced beforehand — on the prison kitchens. The visits, Barclay said, are to make sure the contract is “followed to a T.”
Although both inspectors are employees of the KDOC, he said, the food service contract manager falls on an entirely different line item in its budget — creating some degree of separation.
Also, Barclay said, the employees are inspecting the work done by a contractor, not other KDOC employees.
Finally, he said, the KDOC has to make annual reports to the Kansas Legislature, and the department of administration actually awards the food service contracts, creating further checks and balances on the prison food system.
Violations oftentimes differed from the monthly on-site inspections and the audits from the central office.
The 22 audits included in the request averaged between eight and nine violations, while the 316 monthly inspections, conducted by each facility’s safety compliance officer, averaged between three and four.
The Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, for example, showed everything was satisfactory on its monthly reports, but had up to 13 deficiencies on its three audits. Lack of training for inmate workers was documented on all three audits, which were conducted in June and December 2013 and in June 2014.
Aramark holds the food service contracts in all the prisons, save the KJCF, which switched last October to Trinity Services Group after the service went out for bid. It was awarded a nearly $400,000 contract to work from October 2013 through June 2014.
In each prison, Aramark pays for a manager, an assistant manager and food service supervisors. Under them, are the inmates, Barclay said.
Inmate workers are supposed to be trained and supervised, but 20 inspections show those areas lacking for several months — half of which came from the KJCF.
Slaughterhouse must meet strict food safety rules
Source : http://www.itv.com/news/channel/update/2015-01-04/slaughterhouse-must-meet-strict-food-safety-rules/
By itv.com (Jan 04, 2015)
Environmental Health officials are warning that if St peter Port's old slaughterhouse is to be converted into a market then it will have meet strict food safety rules.
Deputy Mike Hadley wants to see the building used as an old-fashioned market-place for local traders.
The slaughterhouse closed in 2013 after a replacement was built at Longue Hougue.
But Val Cameron, the head of Environmental Health, has been giving advice to traders who want to sell local produce from the disused site.
She says while there are a series of regulations that would have to be met, a market could work.
Food Safety Microbiology
February 5-6, 2015
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Animal Contact Caused 3 Multistate Salmonella Outbreaks in 2014
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/animal-contact-caused-3-multistate-salmonella-outbreaks-in-2014/
By Carla Gillespie (Jan 4, 2015)
Contact with animals was the source three multistate Salmonella outbreaks in 2014. Together the outbreaks sickened 570 people, at least 20 percent of whom were so sick they required hospitalization.
From January 2014 to May 2014, a total of 41 people in 21 states were sickened after handling frozen rodents used as food for pet reptiles, amphibians, and birds of prey. Case patients in this outbreak ranged in age from younger than 1 year old to 69 years old, with a median age of 21. Fifty-four percent of those sickened were female.
From February 2014 to September 2014, 363 people in 43 states were sickened by contact with backyard poultry flocks. Thirty five percent of case patients were 10 years old or younger. The outbreak was linked to chicks, ducklings and other live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, the same mail-order hatchery that has been associated with Salmonella outbreaks in 2012 and 2013.
From January 2012 to June 2014, 166 people in 36 states were sickened through contact with bearded dragons. Fifty nine percent of those sickened were 5 years old or younger.
10 Food-Safety Resolutions for the New Year
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/01/10-food-safety-resolutions-for-the-new-year/#.VKn2nE1xns1
By Diane Wright Hirsch (Jan 1, 2015)
(This article by Diane Wright Hirsch, MPH, RD, a food-safety educator with the University of Connecticut Extension, was published here on Dec. 30, 2014, and is reposted with permission.)
Food safety is not something we usually think of when we are making our New Year’s resolutions. In fact, it is likely that you will promise to lose weight, exercise more, read more, spend less, stop smoking, start spending more time with family, plant more vegetables, etc., etc., etc. A resolution is simply a course of action that you have decided on that you are determined to complete. Why not try making a food-safety resolution? You don’t even have to think much about it. I have done the work for you. The list is here, as well as why each action is a good idea. So, get started. Most of these options are MUCH easier than losing 10 pounds, and you can still eat the potato chips without feeling guilty (in moderation, of course).
1. Buy (and use) a food thermometer.
Because it is important to ensure that foodborne pathogens are destroyed during the cooking process, a food thermometer is an essential food-safety tool in the kitchen. There is no other way to determine if a hamburger, roast, or piece of salmon is sufficiently heated. Buy the thermometer and follow these temperature guidelines for cooking: Cook roasts and steaks to a minimum of 145 degrees F; all poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F; cook ground meat to at least 160 degrees F (remember, color is not a reliable indicator of doneness); cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm, not runny, and egg dishes such as quiche should be cooked to 145 degrees F; cook fish to 145 degrees F; bring sauces, soups and gravy to a boil (212 degrees F) when reheating, and reheat other leftovers to 165 degrees F.
2. Wash your hands before preparing food.
OK, this may seem like a no-brainer. Sometimes when we do something by rote, rather than thinking about it, we can get complacent. We may think a quick little rinse under some tepid running water will do the trick. It will not. So, recommit yourself to an effective hand-washing regimen. Before you pick up that paring knife or prepare that brick of cheese for slicing, wash your hands. Scrub your hands for at least 10-20 seconds under running water WITH SOAP. The soap helps to break up the soil that hides the microorganisms on your hands. Then the running water can do its job and flush the soil and bacteria away. Be sure to wash again after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or produce; between handling different foods; after coughing, sneezing, or handling garbage, or after contaminating hands in any way.
3. Don’t cook for others when you are sick.
According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, ill food workers are often the source of foodborne illness outbreaks. In some cases, restaurants have closed due to lack of business resulting from a well-publicized outbreak. While you may not work in food service, if you are preparing food for family members, friends or housemates, it makes sense to heed this advice: Do not prepare food for others if you are sick — particularly with vomiting or diarrhea. Even if you are suffering from a really bad cold or flu with extensive coughing and sneezing, it may make sense to let someone else do the cooking.
4. Never buy another kitchen sponge.
I will be honest. I added this to the list because I have a problem with kitchen sponges. It is probably not fair since dishcloths and paper towels are just as likely to distribute bacteria and other pathogens around the kitchen if not handled safely. A study by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute indicated that the most effective way to clean/sanitize a kitchen sponge is to soak it for five minutes in a solution of bleach and water (3/4-cup bleach in 1 gallon of water). Less effective, but still fairly good choices, are to microwave the wet sponge for 1 minute on high or to put sponges in the dishwasher. But who really does this every time a sponge gets dirty? A tall stack of dishcloths that can be thrown in the (hot water) wash is my choice. I may only use one per day, or, if I am cleaning up after cutting up raw meat or chicken, I may go through two or three in a day. I have a basket full of them.
5. Wash your fruits and veggies before eating — all of them.
Simple as that. Wash all fruits and vegetables just before preparing and/or eating them. Wash under running water and use a scrub brush on hard rinds. Wash the rinds even if you do not eat them. Washing will not guarantee that all raw produce is germ-free, but it will reduce your risk.
6. Think twice about eating raw animal foods.
Most foodborne pathogens (microorganisms that cause disease) come from the intestinal system of animals. When animals poop out the pathogens, they can contaminate soil, water, plants, and other sources of the food we eat. So, it makes sense that eating animal foods that have not been cooked sufficiently to destroy the pathogens is risky. Raw eggs (think of the “Rocky” film), raw fish (sushi or ceviche), and raw milk or raw chicken (no one eats raw chicken, do they?) all have the potential to be contaminated with foodborne pathogens. Therefore, it is best to eat them cooked (or pasteurized) and cooked enough to destroy the pathogens. If you are a healthy adult, you may choose to take the risk and eat raw clams, raw milk or raw beef (carpaccio), but children and immune-compromised individuals should avoid raw animal products at all costs.
7. Buy (and use) a refrigerator thermometer.
I often implore Connecticut cooks to buy a refrigerator thermometer when there is an impending storm or other event that may lead to a power outage. With a thermometer in your fridge, you are better able to determine if food is safe as the outage wears on and the temperature inside the box starts to increase. But refrigerator thermometers are important even if the weather outside is not so frightful! It is obvious to most of us that refrigeration is essential to keep food from spoiling. But the cold also keeps the bacteria that cause foodborne illness from multiplying. Temperatures above 40 degrees F can support faster growth of bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and other microorganisms that can cause foodborne illness. Putting a refrigerator thermometer in the warmest part of your fridge — and looking at it regularly — will help you monitor the temperature to ensure that the refrigerator is doing its job.
8. Learn how to cool foods safely.
Cooking to the proper temperature is one way to make foods safe. But if there are leftovers involved, it is only part of the story. To keep food safe after cooking, it is important to chill the food quickly. Break the food down to small amounts no more than 2-3 inches thick and refrigerate it promptly. Do not keep cooked foods at room temperature for more than a few hours before refrigeration. In fact, it is best to refrigerate as soon as you are through serving and eating your meal.
9. Throw out leftovers if they are more than 4 days old.
During food preparation, perishable food travels in and out of the danger zone several times: from the processor to the store, to your car, to the kitchen, to the refrigerator or freezer, to the counter for preparation, to the oven, to the table, to the refrigerator again. Each trip through the danger zone (or through several pairs of hands) can increase the number of microorganisms on the food. In addition, some pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes can grow and multiply even at 40 degrees F in the refrigerator. Use your leftovers as soon as possible. Take them for lunch, re-purpose them for tomorrow’s dinner, or freeze for eating later. Date them if you cannot remember when they were first served. Throw them away after four days.
10. Teach others how to handle food safely.
Finally, if you are reading this article, you are getting the food-safety message. Many folks simply do not know how food makes people sick. They do not understand that food can look and smell perfectly fine and still be perfectly contaminated. At your church supper, the soup kitchen, a neighborhood picnic, or wherever you see or share food-preparation duties, be sure to share your knowledge of how to prepare food safely so that you do not have to share a foodborne illness.
DOJ Food-Safety Enforcement Role to Continue in 2015
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/12/dojs-food-safety-enforcement-role-to-continue-in-2015/#.VKnxxE1xns1
By Dan Flynn (Dec 30, 2014)
When producers of such staple foods as beef, eggs, and peanut butter found they were the targets of federal criminal prosecution, it became a top food-safety story of 2014. But is it likely that food-safety enforcement will continue to rely on these U.S. Department of Justice-led (DOJ) criminal cases in 2015?
You can bet on it. Not only is it going to take 2015 and maybe beyond for the courts to fully adjudicate the cases that are underway, it’s likely we will see a new case or two involving criminal charges filed in the new year.
One additional possible criminal case we know about — and usually DOJ can prevent disclosure about a case until charges are actually filed — involves the 2006-07 Salmonella Tennessee outbreak caused by contaminated Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butters.
We know something might be stirring in that case because DOJ began contacting outbreak victims under the Crime Victims Rights Act last August, and also because Omaha, NE-based ConAgra Foods Inc. disclosed in its 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that a federal criminal misdemeanor stemming from the eight-year-old tainted peanut-butter incident remains possible.
The peanut-butter brands were produced by the $17.7-billion food conglomerate at a plant in Sylvester, GA. That Salmonella Tennessee outbreak, which ran from Aug. 1, 2006, to Feb. 16, 2007, sickened 425 people in 44 states. About one in five of them required hospital care, but none died.
When tainted peanut butter turned out to be the source of another Salmonella outbreak originating in Georgia, the manufacturer would not be so lucky. Nine deaths were attributed to the outbreak strain out of about 750 confirmed cases in that 2008-09 outbreak.
About 100 days have passed since a jury in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia found Peanut Corporation of America executives guilty of nearly 100 criminal charges. Post-trial action has included motions for directed verdicts of not guilty, or, as an alternative, motions for new trials.
For reasons not entirely clear or known, evidentiary hearings have been held in secret, and numerous motions made in the past 14 weeks were sealed by the judge. One possible reason for the post-trial secrecy could be defense attorney concerns that some jurors may have used the Internet to do their own research on PCA’s history during the course of the trial.
Stewart Parnell, who owned PCA; Michael Parnell, his peanut-broker broker, and Mary Wilkerson, the quality-assurance manager at Blakely, GA, were found guilty in mid-September and have been awaiting sentencing ever since, along with two other former PCA managers who pleaded guilty before the trial in a plea agreement with the prosecution.
K. Alan Dasher, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, has asked to have until Friday, Jan. 2, to respond to defense motions, some filed jointly, for a new trial. Meanwhile, defense attorney Thomas G. Ledford, who represents Wilkerson, wants to introduce yet another sealed motion.
Court documents apparently do not yet include filings of Pre-Sentence Investigative Reports (PSIRs) or dates for sentencing.
An ending may be closer for 71-year-old Austin “Jack” DeCoster, his 51-year-old son, Peter DeCoster, and their Quality Egg LLC, a family trust. The sentencing hearing for the trio will begin Feb. 9 in U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa in Sioux City.
Whether there should be any kind of jail or detention, even home detention, is the major issue separating government and defense attorneys. The father and son have each pleaded guilty to individual misdemeanors and agreed to pay fines of $100,000 each. Quality Egg LLC pleaded guilty to bribing a federal egg inspection and agreed to pay a $7.8-million fine.
The government is contacting victims of the 2010 Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak about the February sentencing event.
What could be the most-watched food-safety trial of 2015 begins with jury selection on July 16 in San Francisco. Former Rancho Feeding Corporation co-owner Jesse J. (Babe) Amaral Jr., 76, will be tried alone, as other defendants in the federal criminal conspiracy case have reached plea deals with the government on charges that they conspired to sell cattle known to have eye cancers and other problems for human consumption.
Others charged in the case will likely appear at the trial, but probably as government witnesses. They are Felix Sandoval Cabrera, 55, who was the foreman of Rancho’s slaughterhouse at Petaluma, CA; Eugene D. Corda, the 65-year-old former Rancho yardman, and 77-year-old Robert Singleton, who was Rancho’s other co-owner.
Those three have entered guilty pleas to one misdemeanor count each involving the illegal distribution of adulterated, misbranded and uninspected meat.
Two other trials are scheduled in Iowa’s Halal beef cases. The Cedar Rapids-based Miramar Corporation, Islamic Services of America (ISA), and brothers Jalel Farris Aossey and Yahya Nasser Aossey are scheduled for trial on Feb. 17.
The two men are the sons of Miramar and ISA founder William B. Aossey Jr., who is scheduled for a separate trial on March 9. Both trials will take place in U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids.
Charges of conspiracy, forgery, wire fraud, and money-laundering all stem from alleged misrepresentation of Halal beef shipments to south Asia. While the charges are not strictly food-safety related, they do involve mislabeling and violations of statutes that are usually seen as essential to food-safety enforcement.
Halal meats are prepared according to specific standards of the Muslim faith, including those for slaughter.
Largest Multistate Outbreaks of 2014: #2 Bean Sprouts
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/largest-multistate-outbreaks-of-2014-2-bean-sprouts/
By Carla Gillespie (Dec 30, 2014)
A Salmonella outbreak linked to Wonton Foods bean sprouts was the second-largest food poisoning outbreak of the year. The outbreak sickened 111 people in 12 states, 26 percent of those sickened were hospitalized.
The sprouts were sold at stores and served at restaurants primarily on the East Coast. When the outbreak was announced November 21, Wonton Foods agreed to destroy any bean sprouts remaining and close its manufacturing facility for cleaning. On November 24, the firm resumed production and began shipping sprouts again November 29.
Symptom of a Salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In some cases, the infection can travel to the bloodstream producing more severe illness.
Case patients in this outbreak, who range in age from younger than 1 year to 83 years old, reported illness onset dates ranging from September 30, 2014 to November 22, 2014. The median age is 34, 64 percent of case patients are female.
By state, the case count is as follows: Connecticut 3, Maine 4, Maryland 5, Massachusetts 34, Montana 1, New Hampshire 6, New York, 21, Ohio 3, Pennsylvania 17, Rhode Island 7, Vermont 3, Virginia 1.
Children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to food poisoning than others and should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind. Cooking sprouts thoroughly kills any harmful bacteria.
Rats and Birds in Brooklyn New York Asian Food Facility
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/rats-and-birds-brooklyn-new-york-asian-food-facility/#.VKny2U1xns1
By Bill Marler (Dec 30, 2014)
I do not always read the warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but this one that went to an Asian food processor and distributor based in Brooklyn, New York caught my eye.
On December 9, FDA’s Philadelphia district office sent a letter to New Yung Wah Trading Company in Brooklyn notifying the owners that agency inspectors had allegedly found “significant violations” of Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for manufacturing, packing, or holding human food at the company’s warehouse in McKees Rocks, PA.
In particular, FDA stated that inspectors had noted an apparently active rodent nest in a box of thawing meat, rodent carcasses along three walls of the facility, gnaw holes and rodent excreta in food cartons, and that “birds were observed flying through the facility and landing and defecating on stored food products.”
In addition, the letter stated that the firm failed: to use rodenticides to prevent contamination of food, food-contact surfaces and food packaging; to have properly installed and maintained plumbing to provide adequate floor drainage in the warehouse; to close up pest-access areas, and to remove litter and waste that may attract pests, among other allegations.
UK Sales of Chicken Decline, Possibly Due to Campylobacter News
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/12/sales-of-chicken-declines-in-uk-likely-from-campylobacter-news/#.VKH0KJDm4s
By News Desk (Dec 29, 2014)
Grocery purchases of chicken in the United Kingdom have declined nearly 7 percent by volume and 4 percent by sales since this time last year.
Experts are speculating that the public has been influenced by media coverage of the high levels of Campylobacter contamination found on raw chicken, according to meatinfo.co.uk.
Media coverage related to food safety in the UK has largely focused on Campylobacter in chicken this year. First, a whistleblower at a poultry factory revealed alleged violations of hygiene rules for two major chicken producers, and, later in the year, the UK’s Food Standards Agency released a report stating that 70 percent of fresh whole chickens bought in the UK are contaminated with some level of Campylobacter.
The statistics on lower chicken sales were released by market research firm Kantar Worldpanel, which speculated that the heightened news around Campylobacter on chicken likely contributed to the situation. But other factors are credited with the decline in chicken sales as well, such as increased spending power leading to the purchase of more expensive meats.
In November, leading UK grocery retailer Marks & Spencer announced a new initiative to reduce the presence of Campylobacter on chicken in its stores, the “Campylobacter Challenge“. The plan intends to reduce chicken contamination levels through a combination of five strategies, including rapidly chilling chicken carcasses and wrapping them in a bagging system that allows customers to cook the chickens without physically handling the raw meat.
First Caramel Apple Listeria Lawsuit Amended to Add Happy Apple and Bidart Brothers
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-information/first-caramel-apple-listeria-lawsuit-amened-to-add-happy-apple-and-bidart-brothers/#.VKHxepDm4s
By Denis Stearns (Dec 29, 2014)
The Lawsuit: We filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Safeway Inc, in the Superior Court of Santa Cruz on behalf of James Raymond Frey, 87, and the estate of his deceased wife, Shirlee Jean Frey, 81, who died tragically on December 2, 2014 after consuming a Listeria-tainted caramel apple purchased at the Safeway in Felton, California. The case number is CISCV180721.
The complaint is being amended today to add in two additional parties – Happy Apple and Bidart Brothers.
The Outbreak: According to the CDC and Canadian Public Health, as of December 24, 2014, 31 people in 10 states and two provinces have been reported as being infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes. The CDC reports that 29 ill people have been hospitalized. Listeriosis contributed to at least five of the deaths. Nine illnesses were pregnancy-related. Four illnesses were among otherwise healthy children ages 5 – 15 years.
The Number Ill and Dead: Illnesses have been reported in Arizona (4), California (1), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (3) and in Ontario (1) and Manitoba (1), Canada.
The Recall: From an FDA Christmas Eve Recall Notice: Happy Apples, is issuing a voluntary recall of Happy Apple Brand caramel apples with a best use by date between August 25th and November 23rd 2014, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Happy Apple caramel apples are sold in single pack, three packs, four packs and eight packs and each package will have a best use by date on the front of the label. They were available for retail sale through grocery, discount and club stores, generally in the produce section and were distributed to retailers in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin.
The Source: Happy Apple reported that it recently received notice from Bidart Brothers, one of its apple suppliers to the Orosi California facility, that there may be a connection between this outbreak and the apples that they supplied to that facility.
California Snack Foods issued a voluntary recall of California Snack Foods brand caramel apples with a best use by date between August 15th and November 28th 2014, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Happy Apples used the last of the Bidart Brothers apples in the first week of November 2014. The caramel apples produced with Bidart Brothers apples should no longer be available in stores, however, out of an abundance of caution and concern for consumer safety, we are recommending that consumers follow the advice of the CDC and remove any caramel apples you may have in storage and dispose of them in a secure container to avoid potential contamination in animals.
Pacific Coast Fruit announced on its website that it was made aware that Bidart Brothers was recalling apples sold to caramel coated candy apple due to potential contamination with Listeria. Happy Apples purchased apples from Bidart Brothers and Pacific Coast Fruit in turn distributed Happy Apples to Pacific Coast Fruit customers. Pacific Coast Fruit Company is now in the process of contacting customers and recalling all Happy Apple brand apples sold after September 22, of 2014.
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