The Seattle Times reports that 28 people have become ill due to an outbreak of listeria food poisoning including a teenage boy from Thurston County. In all, it appears that five people have died and 28 people have become ill and the culprit appears to be caramel apples.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 26 people have been hospitalized in ten states including Washington state.
The CDC recommends that consumers not consume any prepackaged caramel apples including plain caramel apples including those that have nuts, sprinkles, chocolate or other toppings until a definitive source of the listeria contamination has been identified.
The CDC reports that apples that are not pre-packaged without caramel coating have not caused any illness.
The CDC provides the following advice:
- Do not eat pre-packaged caramel apples.
- If you have purchased any caramel apples, dispose of them by sealing them in a plastic garbage bag.
- Uncoated apples are fine.
- You can make your own caramel apples at home.
- If you become ill after eating a prepackaged caramel apple, contact your doctor.
Listeria Foodborne Bacteria
Listeria is a bacteria which can cause a rare bacterial disease in humans, listeriosis. Listeriosis is a serious infection and, in the worse cases, can cause sepsis an meningitis. Listeriosis in pregnant women, newborns and people with compromised immune systems such as the elderly, are especially susceptible to the serious form of the disease.
Listeriosis can be prevented by keeping foods properly refrigerated and by properly sanitizing food contact surfaces.
Symptoms of listeria include fever, muscle pain, diarrhea and gastroenteritis.
In the worst cases of the disease, patients require hospitalization and high-doses of antimicrobials and antibiotics. Pregnant women should be promptly treated to avoid infecting the unborn baby.
One of the worst listeriosis outbreaks in the United States occurred in 2011 when cantaloupes shipped by Jense Farms in Colorado killed 33 people and caused at least one miscarriage. In that case, 123 people were sickened.
Contact The Farber Law Group Listeria Lawyers
If you or a family member has become seriously ill with a Listeria infection after consuming caramel apples and you would like to file a legal claim for your damages which would include medical costs, loss of wages and other compensation, you can contact The Farber Law Group for a free case evaluation. The Farber Law Group has successfully recovered represented other victims of foodborne illness and their families.