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Nationwide recall of peaches, plums and nectarines linked to deadly listeria outbreak

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Peaches, plums and nectarines distributed by HMC Farms and sold nationwide are being recalled due to an outbreak of listeria that has resulted in 11 illnesses, including one death and 10 hospitalizations, federal safety regulators said.

Kingsburg, California-based HMC Farms is recalling peaches, plums and nectarines sold between May 1 and November 15 of this year as well as as during the same period in 2022, the company said in a notice posted earlier in November by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA found listeria in testing a sample of HMC Farms peaches in late October, the CDC said.

Sold around the U.S., the recalled fruit may be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, an organism that can cause serious and at times fatal infections. 

The FDA on Monday updated its public health advisory to include more information about the stores that received the recalled fruit. 

In addition to Walmart and Sam's Club, other retailers include Publix and Sprouts Farmers Market, the agency stated. 

Additional outlets include Albertsons Company stores under the banners ACME, Albertsons, Balducci's Food Lovers Market, Carrs, Eagle, Haggen, Kings Food Markets, Lucky, Pavilions, Safeway, Shaw's, Star Market and Vons in the District of Columbia and the following 26 states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. 

The recalled fruit was also sold in ALDI stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Virginia. 

"Investigators are working to determine if any additional fruit or products made with this fruit may be contaminated," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated last week in a food safety alert

People sickened in the listeria outbreak reside in seven states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio, according to the CDC. One person died in California and another became sick while pregnant and had preterm labor, the agency noted.

Among nine foodborne outbreaks this year, the outbreak is among three involving the germ listeria monocytogenes, and the sole one to have been listed by the CDC as resulting in a person's death. That said, an estimated 1,600 Americans get listeriosis each year and about 260 die from it, with the infection usually caused by eating contaminated food, according to the agency.

Listeria infections can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, illness in young children, frail or elderly people, as well as others with weakened immune systems, according to the CDC. Healthy people may experience symptoms including high fever, severe headache and stomach pain. The organism can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

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Image of fruit recalled by HMC Farms due to listeria concerns. U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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Image of recalled product. U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The recalled fruit was sold in 2-pound bags branded "HMC Farms" or "Signature Farms," or as individual fruit that has a "USA-E-U" code and a number, as follows:

  • Yellow peach: 4044 or 4038
  • White peach: 4401
  • Yellow nectarine: 4036 or 4378
  • White nectarine: 3035
  • Red plum: 4042
  • Black plum: 4040

The recall does not include organically grown fruit, the company and CDC noted (See images of all of the recalled fruit products here).

Consumers should check their homes, including their freezers, for the recalled fruit and discard it, agency said. Anyone with questions can call the company at (844) 483-3867, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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