Zespri Organic Kiwi Recalled In 14 States For Listeria Risk

If you have a package of kiwis in the kitchen you should go check the label, because Zespri organic green kiwifruits are being recalled over a listeria risk. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Zespri owners, David Oppenheimer and Company I LLC, are voluntarily recalling 1-pound packages of kiwi over the health concern. The fruits originated in New Zealand, and were shipped out between June 14 and July 7. The possible listeria contamination was discovered by the Kentucky Department for Public Health on July 7. The recall affects 14 states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, with Zespri kiwis in other states remaining unaffected.

If you have Zespri kiwis and live in the affected states, you can identify potentially contaminated packages with the UPC code 8 18849 02009 3, and the fruit itself has a sticker with the bar code 9400 9552. While the kiwis at risk were shipped out long ago and have likely gone bad by now, there is still risk to consumers. Anyone who may have frozen the fruit is still at risk of listeria, as cold does not kill the bacteria. So far, no illnesses have been reported, but anyone who's kitchen was potentially exposed to these kiwis should thoroughly clean wherever they were stored, as listeria can survive for a long time on surfaces.

Listeria can be a serious health risk for vulnerable groups

Listeria infection is not usually severe for healthy people, but it can be potentially fatal for certain groups. Signs of infection in less serious cases can be nausea, fever, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Seniors over the age of 65 and other people with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable and could experience far more severe symptoms. Pregnant women are also at high risk, as listeria can cause miscarriage or life-threatening problems for newborns, even when the mother's symptoms are mild. Symptoms of listeria can show up within days of eating contaminated food, but could take as long as a month to appear. Anyone with symptoms of listeria after exposure to contaminated food should see a doctor, and people experiencing more severe reactions like a high fever, crippling headaches, confusion, or sensitivity to light should go straight to an emergency room.

Normally listeria is most common in meat and dairy, with Boar's Head and several other deli meat brands going through a listeria recall earlier this year. However, fruit and vegetables can also be quite vulnerable, and this past year has seen multiple outbreaks from contaminated frozen fruit, as well as salad kits, some of which resulted in hospitalizations. So, take the risks seriously, check your fruit, and don't hesitate to seek treatment if you need to.