RecallsWawona Packing Co. is issuing a voluntary recall of peaches, nectarines, plums and pluots that were packed at its Cutler, California facilities between June 1 and July 12.

According to a CNN news report, major retailers such as Costco, Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart and Kroger are part of this recall. The fruits in question are said to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

This is a nationwide recall according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Internal testing at Wawona apparently revealed the potential bacterial contamination, officials said.

The production facility has been shut down and sanitized and subsequent tests have turned out negative for food poisoning. So far, no illnesses have been reported due to this food contamination.

Listeria Infections Could Be Deadly

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths are caused by listeriosis.

The largest and deadliest listeria outbreak in the United States was related to fruit and occurred in 2011. Cantaloupes from a Colorado farm killed nearly three dozen and sickened 147.

Common symptoms for listeria include diarrhea, fever, muscle aches and other gastrointestinal issues. Listeria could cause stillbirths in pregnant women.

So, pregnant women, infants, seniors and those with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk for a serious listeria infection.

Protecting Yourself

Trader Joe’s has urged consumers not to eat any of these “stone fruits” that have large pits and to return them to a nearby store for a full refund. Also, Wegmans Food Markets has recalled many of its baked goods that may contain the contaminated fruit. These products include pies, tarts, cakes and other pastries.

There are also many other steps you can take to prevent listeriosis through food contamination:

  • Stay away from raw milk or soft cheeses that are made from raw milk.
  • Make sure that leftovers are refrigerated within two hours in shallow covered containers.
  • Avoid cross contamination by properly cleaning all cooking and cutting surfaces.
  • Heat deli meats and hot dogs to a steaming hot temperature before consuming.
  • It is important to identify which foods are risky for the elderly and those who are pregnant.

If you or a loved one has been sickened as a result of food poisoning, it is important that you isolate the preserve the contaminated food so it can be tested at a lab for pathogens. Report your illness to the local health department.

If you had to be hospitalized and suffered other losses as a result of your illness, contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.