Packing Company Recalls Stone Fruit For Possible Listeria Contamination

Wawona Packing Company of Cutler, CA, is voluntarily recalling certain lots of whole peaches (white and yellow), nectarines (white and yellow), plums, and pluots packed between June 1 and July 12 due to the potential of the products being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Wawona Packing has notified retailers of the specific lots being recalled. No other products are impacted by this recall and no illnesses have been linked to this recall to date.

“We are aware of no illnesses related to the consumption of these products” said Brent Smittcamp, president of Wawona Packing Co. “By taking the precautionary step of recalling product, we will minimize even the slightest risk to public health, and that is our priority.”

The recalled products were shipped directly to retailers and wholesalers who resell the products. Wawona Packing is issuing a nationwide recall because the locations of the companies that purchased the products from Wawona Packing’s direct customers is unknown.

Wawona Packing has already notified its business customers and requested that they remove the recalled products from commerce. The company is voluntarily recalling these products in consultation with the FDA. The recall was initiated based on internal company testing.
Wawona Packing Company released this statement from Smittcamp on its website:

“Wawona Packing wants to thank its workers and the community for their support while we work to complete this voluntary recall in the most efficient and effective manner possible. All of us at Wawona Packing take our commitment to food safety very seriously. While our facility is being thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, and inspected, we are maintaining our normal production levels by using outside facilities in the area. In addition, crews are also picking fruit as normal.

At this time, it is unclear how the problem may have occurred. After a sample tested positive, the company shut down the implicated packing lines, retrofitted equipment, sanitized the facility, and retested. Subsequent daily test results have been negative. The company will continue to consult with FDA, review its processes, and make appropriate improvements.

The company complies with all industry and government standards such as HACCP, Good Manufacturing Practices, and Good Agricultural Practices; and successfully passes multiple customer audits a year.

While Wawona Packing prides itself on taking extra steps to comply and even exceed these food safety guidelines, we also know that food safety is a continuum, and we must never stop improving.

This recall will present challenges for the company, but I am confident that by working together like we have, we will successfully addresses them and be stronger for it.”

The FDA has released a full product list for consumers and photos of product labels. A list and images of the recalled products can be found here. They include products sold in Costco, Trader Joes, and other retail locations.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause a potentially fatal infection and is particularly dangerous to older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems, according to the CDC. Symptoms may include fever and muscle aches, GI symptoms, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.

Source: Wawona Packing Company news release, FDA bulletin

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