Peaches, plums and nectarines sold in 18 states have been recalled for potential Listeria contamination. Stores that sold the fruit include Walmart, Aldi, Costco, Fairway Market, Market Basket, Hannaford and a number of small retailers. At the time of the recall, no illnesses had been reported according to the January 24, 2019 recall issued by Jac. Vandenberg, Inc. of Yonkers, NY.
Although Listeria is most often associated with other foods, such as soft cheeses made from unpasteurized dairy, smoked seafood and lunch meats, this isn’t the first time Listeria has been associated with stone fruits.
On July 19, 2014, Wawona Packing Company of Cutler, CA issued a recall for peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots for possible Listeria contamination. The fruit was sold by a number of retailers including Costco, Sam’s Club and Trader Joe’s.
At the time of the recall, no illnesses had been reported, the recall stated. But after the recall was announced, state and federal health officials and doctors all over the country reported receiving a flood of listeriosis inquiries from consumers who had eaten stone fruits. Between July 19 and July 31, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that its Listeria website page received more than a half million page views, more than seven times the number received during the 52 weeks prior.
Initially, outbreak investigators lacked genetic evidence that could determine if any of the illness inquiries were related to the recalled fruit. But, two weeks later, health officials uploaded the DNA fingerprints of Listeria strains found in the recalled fruit to PulseNet, a national subtyping network. And matches cultured from humans began showing up. Patients sickened by the same strains cultured from the fruit were identified in four states: Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Minnesota.
When a traceback investigation confirmed that the patient in Massachusetts had purchased and eaten the recalled fruit, it was the first reported link between human illness and stone fruit. There have been no other Listeria outbreaks or recalls linked to stone fruit since that time. Until now.
Recall for Rio Duero Brand Stone Fruit
The Vandenburg recall includes 1,727 cartons of peaches, 1,207 cartons of nectarines and 365 cartons of plums distributed to 18 states. They include: Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia.
Aldi sold peaches, plums and nectarines in 2-pound bags under the Rio Duero brand name. Costco sold nectarines in 4-pound plastic clamshell containers under the Rio Duero brand name. Other stores sold peaches and nectarines in bulk.