Home Consumer Caramel Apples May Pose Listeria Risk

Caramel Apples May Pose Listeria Risk

Caramel apples (www.cdc.gov)

By Mark Young, SouthFloridaReporter.com Managing Editor, Oct. 14, 2015 – It’s the time of the year when we think about apples. Apple pies, apple picking and caramel apples on a stick.

Unfortunately, last year seven people died and 35 more became ill with Listeria that was eventually linked to caramel apples. In a new study released by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Food Research Institute, found that caramel apples, punctured with a stick and left unrefrigerated, were the cause of the outbreak.

Here’s more from CBS News on the findings:

By ASHLEY WELCH, CBS News,  Oct. 14, 2015 – Planning to indulge in a caramel apple this fall? You may want to eat it fresh or at least make sure it’s refrigerated, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Food Research Institute found that caramel apples punctured with dipping sticks and left unrefrigerated over the course of a couple of weeks may harbor Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium linked to a serious infection that can cause fever, headaches, gastrointestinal symptoms and sometimes death. The findings were published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society of Microbiology.

The study was prompted by a listeria outbreak in late 2014, in which 35 people from 12 states were infected and seven people died. The outbreak was ultimately linked to prepackaged caramel apples, prompting several manufacturers to voluntarily recall their products.

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