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In health-conscious societies, people are encouraged to find alternatives to candy and other sugary products for satisfying their sweet tooth. So, naturally, many turn to fruit to get their sugar fix. These sugars, however, are natural, and are accompanied by a multitude of essential vitamins and minerals.
Because we, as consumers, have a high demand for fresh produce, there is an intensified focus on where and how these fruits are grown and packaged. Although the health risks may not be as serious or numerous as those associated with meat and poultry, there are nevertheless dangerous bacteria that may be lurking in fruits. One of these bacterium, called listeria, is a bacteria often found in nectarines, plums, and other stone-pitted fruits. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), listeria can cause potentially fatal infections and is particularly dangerous to adults with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, newborns, and the elderly. Symptoms may include fever and muscle aches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.
Just recently, the Wawona Packing Company, based out of California, issued a nation-wide recall on its peaches, plums, pluots and nectarines packaged between July 1 and July 14, 2014. The recall was issued after an Austrialian worker detected listeria bacteria in several fruit products that had been shipped overseas. Upon hearing the news from Australia, Wawona tested products at its facility in California for the listeria bacteria. The results of the testing revealed traces of listeria on two peaches and one nectarine.
Although no incidents of sickness have yet to be reported, there is genuine concern that listeria-infected fruit may have been consumed by many unsuspecting Americans. According to FDA officials, the products were packed under a variety of brands, including Wawona’s Sweet 2 Eat and Harvest Sweet labels. The fruit was sold at BJ’s, Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods, and other large market retailers.