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Walmart recalls packaged fruit in 9 states for possible Listeria contamination

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Oct. 5 (UPI) — Pre-packaged fruit sold by Walmart is being recalled in nine states because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the FDA said.

Country Fresh, which sells products under the Walmart brand, announced a voluntary recall of packages of cut or sliced apples, grapes, mangoes, pineapples, and cantaloupe.

The fruit was shipped to Walmart grocery stores in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, the company said.

Inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration detected traces of listeria on equipment used in an area near where the fruit was packed, a press release said.

No cases of food poisoning from listeria contamination have been reported in connection with the recalled Walmart fruit products, Country Fresh said.

Listeria is a microscopic organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems, the FDA said. Listeria infection, called listeriosis, can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Healthy people who eat food contaminated with listeria may show short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Compared to other foodborne illnesses, listeriosis “is rare but very serious,” the FDA said on the agency’s website.

More than 90 percent of people with listeriosis are hospitalized, often in intensive care units. About 1,600 people in the United States get listeriosis each year, about 260 die and about 1,500 are hospitalized, the FDA said.

The possibly contaminated recalled products included multiple varieties of apple slices and grapes, as well as packaged chunks of mango, pineapple, cantaloupe and assorted fruit trays.

On Thursday, Country Fresh initiated a separate recall of prepackaged possibly listeria-contaminated watermelon chunks distributed at Walmart and RaceTrac gas stations, distributed between Sept. 23 through 25.

The recalled packages were labeled “best if used by” with dates between Oct. 3 and Oct. 11, 2020, the FDA said.

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