Wawona expands stone fruit recall; listeria source a mystery - The Packer

Wawona expands stone fruit recall; listeria source a mystery

08/01/2014 11:44:00 AM
Coral Beach

Wawona Packing Co. is expanding its July 19 stone fruit recall related to listeria contamination, adding it hasn’t determined the source.

All fruit packed and shipped from the company’s Cutler, Calif., from June 1 through July 17 is now under recall, according to a news release issued at 11 p.m. July 31.

The initial recall only included certain lots, packed June 1-July 12, of organic and conventional yellow and white peaches, white and yellow nectarines, plums and pluots. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also issued a nationwide recall of the fruit.

Health officials have not reported any illnesses linked to the fruit. It can take up to 70 days for listeria monocytogenes symptoms to develop after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A spokeswoman for Wawona Packing said Aug. 1 that the company is not releasing details on the volume of fruit packed and shipped from June 1-July 17.

“Wawona Packing Co. is expanding the recall, as a precautionary step, to cover all products packed in the Wawona Packing Co. facility from June 1 through July 17 because the company’s experts have yet to identify with scientific certainty the source of listeria monocytogenes in the facility,” according to the most recent news release.

Courtesy WawonaSeveral brands of conventional and organic stone fruit, including these organic Sweet 2 Eat peaches, are under recall by Wawona Packing Co. because of possible listeria contamination. As of July 18, the company stopped packing product at the Cutler facility, according to the release. Products packed after July 18 outside of the Cutler facility are not part of the recall.

Wawona has notified its direct customers, including retailers and wholesalers, according to the release. However, the company does not have traceability information of who its direct customers resold fruit to, according to the release.

Several retailers have issued their own recall notices. Media has reported local recalls of the fruit across the country. Retailers who have recalled the fruit include: Trader Joes, Costco, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Kroger’s, Aldi, Wegmans, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Giant Food Stores, Martins, Hannafords, BJ’s Wholesale, Dillons, Smiths, Save-a-Lot, Fry’s, King Soopers, Stop & Shop, Big Y Foods, Ralphs, Whole Foods, QFC, Jay C, City Market, Bakers, Gerbes, and Fred Meyer.

Courtesy WawonaThese Sweet 2 Eat brand peaches from Wawona Packing Co. are among the stone fruit the California company recalled because of possible listeria contamination.The Wawona fruit is marketed under a variety of brands, according to the release, including Sweet 2 Eat, Sweet 2 Eat Organic and Mrs. Smittcamp’s. It is also sold under various private labels, which Wawona did not specify.

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CA  |  August, 01, 2014 at 12:17 PM

I've met stone fruit guys before from over there. Always complaining about regulations and such. Now look, an issue arises. Typical. Fix it when it's finally broke.

Central Valley  |  August, 01, 2014 at 10:30 PM

To the previous commentor. Your statement is ignorant. I work in this industry and can tell you you that these companies here go to great lengths to make sure the products they grow are safe. If you have ever seen wawona's operation you would know that they take great pride in what they do.

Boston  |  August, 03, 2014 at 03:32 PM

I got sick on Monday night and was in bed for a week. Finally listened to voice mail today (Sunday) and received a voice mail from Costco telling me not to eat the nectarines I had bought and already finished eating. Now I know what put me flat on my back for a week.

California  |  August, 04, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Pat - unless you went to your doctor and had a series of tests to confirm Listeriosis, you don't KNOW anything and you're making a very serious accusation. As the article states, no illnesses have been confirmed in connection with this recall. Do you KNOW for sure that the nectarines you ate were from Wawona packing? Several growers supply Costco and the packaging is very similar. Costco sent messages to everyone who purchased stone fruit, regardless of the supplier. If you truly have Listeriosis, step up, do the right thing for your long-term health and get it confirmed by your doctor. Then get back to us and tell us what you KNOW.

USA  |  August, 04, 2014 at 01:26 PM

DP, You are correct Costco sells different produce from different suppliers. I had the box with 11 white peaches still in the garage and compared the code with the information on FDA website. Then I know what made me sick! I used a lot of Colloidal Silver to get rid of whatever bug I ate when I felt the first symptoms of getting ill. Not every one runs to a doctors office. No testing the product before shipping it is in my eyes a CRIME! Don't blame the customers when they get sick from food you just send out. It doesn't cost much to make a listeria test or some other tests. It's all about greed!

Virginia  |  August, 14, 2014 at 02:47 PM

DP, I'll tell you what I KNOW. I bought peaches at Costco on July 12th and ate a couple a few days later after they softened. I was awakened early(5a.m.) on Thursday 7-17 with severe abdominal cramps, chills, diarrhea, vertigo and mental confusion. The symptoms continued to worsen during the evening and night.My wife drove me to the ER at 6 a.m. on Fri. 7-18. I could not walk, keep my eyes open due to the vertigo and nausea. The ER staff infused fluids, took blood cultures(results won't be back until tomorrow), treated me for the abdominal cramps and nausea, gave me antibiotics and a few hours later had my wife take me back home. I have been only able to lay around for the past 3 days, feeling nauseous, dizzy and severely weak, especially when attempting to walk. Yesterday was the first day I was able to eat some crackers and yogurt. Last night we got a robo-call from Costco telling us of the recall. The Costco Warehouse where we bought the peaches did not know if they had sold the Lot CA6910 identified in the robo-call. They said they would do some "further investigating" and call me back. As did Wawona. Today is August 14th and there has been no response to my reports or calls. There is no doubt in my mind that those peaches caused my illness and hundreds, actually thousands according to the FDA, have been affected. And still, the President of this company is telling the media there have been no reported illnesses reported. So DP, thats what I DO KNOW.

Coral Beach    
The Packer newsroom  |  August, 15, 2014 at 12:29 PM

To All: The Packer is covering this story closely and reporting developments as they become available from public officials. As of noon Aug. 15, the government has not reported any illnesses linked to the recalled Wawona fruit. The most recent posting on the FDA website is the expanded recall notice of July 31 (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm407600.htm).

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