Pre-Packaged Caramel Apples Responsible for 5 Deaths and 29 Hospitalizations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) is investigating a listeria outbreak linked to pre-packaged caramel apples and as of December 22, 2014, is warning consumers not to eat any commercially packaged caramel apples until it has completed its investigation.

The outbreak, which is responsible for 5 deaths and 29 hospitalizations in 10 states, has not yet been linked to a particular brand or manufacturer; however, at least one company, Happy Apple, in Missouri, has voluntarily recalled all of its brand of caramel apples with use by dates between August 25 and November 23, 2014.

In the meantime, the CDC is concerned that not all cases have been reported, as listeria can take from just a few days to more than two months to present itself.  The 29 cases to date represent infections that occurred in October and November.  There may be more cases out there from people who have consumed or may consume the contaminated apples in December.

Pregnant women, elderly and people with suppressed immune systems are most at risk.