US FDA warns PH on contaminated Gala, Granny Smith apples
MANILA, Philippines – The United States Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers against contaminated Gala apples and Granny Smith apples being recalled by California-based supplier Bidart Bros., as batches of this produce have been exported to the Philippines.
In its notice, the US FDA explained that the Gala apples (“Big B”) and Granny Smith apples (“Granny’s Best” or “Big B”) from the 2014 production were being recalled due to their association with the Listeriosis outbreak.
According to the agency, some of these recalled apples have been exported to the Philippines through its consignees, International ProduceGroup LLC, and MB Fresh International. About 30,000 cartons of Gala apples (40 lb. per carton); 345,000 cartons of Granny Smith; and 600 Triwall (700 lbs.) were shipped to the Philippines.
“It has come to the attention of the US FDA that the (said) products are being recalled in the USA because there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, these products will cause serious adverse health consequences or death,” the FDA said.
“FDA does not have the capacity to follow-up on recalled products that may have been shipped internationally. For these reasons, and in the interest of public health since these recalled products could cause serious adverse health consequences or death, we wanted to provide you with the following information so that you can follow-up, as you deem appropriate, to assure that products are removed from commerce in your country,” it added.
Data from the FDA website show that Listeriosis is a “rare but serious illness caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.” Among the symptoms include fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as fever and chills after eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples.
Listeriosis, according to FDA, can be fatal, especially in certain high-risk groups including the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems and certain chronic medical conditions (such as cancer).
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