Listeria tied to peaches, plums and nectarines sickens 11 people and kills 1
Three people in Florida reported becoming ill because of the fruit, distributed nationwide and recalled by HMC Farms. Listeria is most likely to sicken those who are pregnant, over 65 or immunocompromised.
Federal health officials have issued a food safety alert after 11 people in seven states were infected with a strain of listeria traced to peaches, plums and nectarines sold by HMC Farms.
One patient in California died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Three of the illnesses were in Florida. Survivors were all treated at hospitals. Of the 11 infected, seven were 65 or older. One person got sick during their pregnancy and had a preterm labor.
One person became sick in August and another in February. The others were before 2023, with at least two in August 2018.
More people may be infected, according to the CDC, because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for Listeria. In addition, recent illnesses may not yet be reported.
Patient interviews and laboratory findings show that whole peaches, nectarines, and plums distributed by HMC Farms were making people sick, according to the CDC.
On Friday, HMC Farms recalled the fruit, sold nationwide between May 1 and Nov. 15, 2022, and May 1 and Nov. 15, 2023.
The two-pound bags are branded “HMC Farms” or ”Signature Farms.” They are also sold as individual fruit with a sticker that has “USA-E-U” and a number: yellow peach 4044 or 4038, white peach 4401, yellow nectarine 4036 or 4378, white nectarine 3035, red plum 4042, black plum: 4040
All are conventional fruit, not organic.
Click hereto view photos of the recalled fruit.
Peaches, plums, and nectarines currently for sale are not included in the recall, HMC Farms said.
The CDC is advising people check their homes for recalled fruit and discard them. Also, clean refrigerators, containers and surfaces that may have touched the recalled fruit because listeria can survive in the refrigerator and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.
According to the Florida Department of Health, listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant people and their newborns, adults 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.
Pregnant people typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
For people who are not pregnant, symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.