Wawona Packing Co. is expanding its July 19 stone fruit recall related to listeria contamination, adding it hasn’t determined the source.
All fruit packed and shipped from the company’s Cutler, Calif., from June 1 through July 17 is now under recall, according to a news release issued at 11 p.m. July 31.
The initial recall only included certain lots, packed June 1-July 12, of organic and conventional yellow and white peaches, white and yellow nectarines, plums and pluots. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also issued a nationwide recall of the fruit.
Health officials have not reported any illnesses linked to the fruit. It can take up to 70 days for listeria monocytogenes symptoms to develop after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A spokeswoman for Wawona Packing said Aug. 1 that the company is not releasing details on the volume of fruit packed and shipped from June 1-July 17.
“Wawona Packing Co. is expanding the recall, as a precautionary step, to cover all products packed in the Wawona Packing Co. facility from June 1 through July 17 because the company’s experts have yet to identify with scientific certainty the source of listeria monocytogenes in the facility,” according to the most recent news release.
As of July 18, the company stopped packing product at the Cutler facility, according to the release. Products packed after July 18 outside of the Cutler facility are not part of the recall.
Wawona has notified its direct customers, including retailers and wholesalers, according to the release. However, the company does not have traceability information of who its direct customers resold fruit to, according to the release.
Several retailers have issued their own recall notices. Media has reported local recalls of the fruit across the country. Retailers who have recalled the fruit include: Trader Joes, Costco, Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Kroger’s, Aldi, Wegmans, Food 4 Less, Foods Co., Giant Food Stores, Martins, Hannafords, BJ’s Wholesale, Dillons, Smiths, Save-a-Lot, Fry’s, King Soopers, Stop & Shop, Big Y Foods, Ralphs, Whole Foods, QFC, Jay C, City Market, Bakers, Gerbes, and Fred Meyer.
The Wawona fruit is marketed under a variety of brands, according to the release, including Sweet 2 Eat, Sweet 2 Eat Organic and Mrs. Smittcamp’s. It is also sold under various private labels, which Wawona did not specify.
Wawona officials became aware of the possible listeria contamination on July 10 when an Australian importer notified them that tests on Wawona fruit detected “within tolerance levels of listeria monocytogenes on three of (Wawona’s) peaches” according to a July 21 statement from Wawona.
Australia, like many other countries, allows for low levels of listeria because levels of less than 100 colony forming units per gram of food “do not present a public risk,” Wawona officials said in the statement. They said the peaches that tested positive in Australia had less than 10 units per gram.
“Because the (FDA) has a zero-tolerance for listeria monocytogenes, upon being notified by Australia, Wawona Packing immediately retained a reputable, private laboratory to test both the Wawona Packing physical plant as well as product,” according to the company’s statement.
“While waiting for the confirmed test results, the company stopped production and performed extra cleaning and sanitization measures and conducted more tests. All test results taken after this process have been negative.”
The lab did find listeria on two peaches and one nectarine among the product Wawona had it check. However, when the lab tested other pieces of fruit from the same boxes, all of it was negative for listeria, according to the Wawona statement.