The Food and Drug Administration is notifying healthcare professionals and their medical care organizations of the ongoing investigation of an outbreak of listeriosis linked to commercially-produced, prepackaged caramel apples.
The CDC reports that 29 people in 10 states have been reported as being infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes, with all 29 ill people hospitalized and five deaths reported. Nine illnesses were pregnancy-related.
Listeriosis can be fatal, especially in certain high-risk groups. These groups include the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems and certain chronic medical conditions such as cancer. FDA and state investigators are working to identify the source of contamination and to determine what products may be contaminated.
Consumers are advised not to eat commercially prepackaged caramel apples. Anyone who experiences fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, or develops fever and chills after eating commercially-produced, prepackaged caramel apples should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about any history of eating those caramel apples.
For more information, go to the FDA.