Caramel apples linked to listeria outbreak and five deaths – Watch

Updated: December 20, 2014
Caramel apples linked to listeria outbreak and five deaths - Watch

The Minnesota Dept. of Health is asking consumers to avoid eating prepackaged caramel apples for the time being, in the wake of an outbreak of listeria infections that has claimed five lives including two in this state.

Health officials are warning anyone who may have purchased any pre-packaged, commercially-produced caramel apples, including caramel apples with other toppings such as nuts, chocolate, and sprinkles, to not eat them until more information from the investigation becomes available.

The caramel apples in Minnesota were purchased from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples. These two brands are no longer available for purchase; however, health officials are concerned that anyone who purchased them may still have them in their homes.

As the investigation goes on, health officials say other caramel apple brands and other locations may also be impacted.

At this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not pre-packaged.

Listeriosis affects primarily older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and persons with weakened immune systems.

On average, seven cases of listeriosis are reported in Minnesota each year, according to health officials.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. Symptoms begin from 3 to 70 days after consuming the bacteria.

Anyone who believes they may have become ill with listeriosis should contact their health care provider.