Caramel apples linked to listeria outbreak

by Keith Nunes
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An outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes has been linked to caramel-coated apples.

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending consumers do not eat any commercially produced caramel-coated apples. An outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in 10 states that has been associated with 5 deaths and more than 20 illnesses is thought to be caused by the consumption of the products. The C.D.C. emphasized no illnesses have been associated with the consumption of regular, non-caramel-coated apples.

The agency reported that many of the consumers who have become ill said they ate commercially produced caramel-coated apples. At this time, the C.D.C. has not released the name of the manufacturer where the apples were processed.

As of Dec. 18, the agency said 28 people have been infected with the outbreak strain and 26 have been hospitalized. Among the 26, 5 people have died and the agency said in 4 of the cases Listeriosis contributed to the deaths.

The 10 states where illnesses have been identified include: Arizona (4 illnesses), California (1), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (2).

Agency officials said the investigation is “rapidly evolving” and new information will be released as it becomes available.

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