A Listeria outbreak traced to peaches has turned deadly.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this afternoon that of the 11 confirmed patients, one has died. The patients are spread through seven states across the country. All 10 of the surviving patients have been hospitalized.
“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak,” according to the CDC.
The sick people are from California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.
Interviews with sick people and laboratory findings show that whole peaches, nectarines, and plums distributed by HMC Farms make people sick. After the Food and Drug Administration found the outbreak strain in a sample of their peaches, HMC recalled these fruits sold nationwide in 2022 and 2023 between May 1 and Nov. 15, respectively.
“Although the recalled fruit is no longer available in retail stores, consumers may have frozen the recalled fruit at home for later use. Consumers are urged to check their freezers for the recalled fruit, not consume it, and discard it,” according to the recall notice.
For photos of the recalled fruit packaging and stickers that might be on individually sold fruits, click here.
Consumers can contact the company’s consumer information desk at 844-483-3867.
About Listeria infections
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any recalled fruit and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about possible Listeria exposure.
Also, anyone who has eaten recalled products should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.
Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses.
Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.
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