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Wawona Packing expands fruit recall out of Listeria concerns

By Jenni Spinner+

05-Aug-2014
Last updated on 05-Aug-2014 at 09:10 GMT

Wawona Packing has expanded a recall of its packaged fruit products out of concern of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
Wawona Packing has expanded a recall of its packaged fruit products out of concern of Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Wawona Packing is broadening its voluntary recall of packaged fruits sold to Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, and other US retailers, out of concern for Listeria contamination.

The packaged fruit provider has opted to expand a recall of peaches, nectarines, plums, and pluots after a positive Listeria monocytogenes test at its facility. However, no illnesses (serious or otherwise) have been reported in connection with consuming contaminated fruit from the facility.

Undetermined contamination

The precise source of the contamination reportedly has not yet been determined, according to company president Brent Smittcamp.

Wawona Packing believes in the highest standards of food safety,” he said. “We have been working around the clock to determine the source of the Listeria monocytogenes.”

The initial recall (issued on July 19) was put in place after internal company testing turned up Listeria monocytogenes. After the contaminant was detected, Wawona Packing officials shut down the packaging lines, retrofitted its equipment, and sanitized the facility.

Smittcamp said the company, keen to determine the precise source of the contamination, is turning to food safety authorities and agencies for assistance.

We have brought in nationally known experts in food safety to investigate every part of our packing facility, and we are working with the US Food and Drug Administration,” he said.

The original recall covered certain lots of product packed from June 1 to July 12 this year. According to the company, they are expanding the recall of products packed at their Cutler, California facility as a precautionary move.

The company reports no products have been packed at the Cutler facility since July 17. Products packed on or since July 18 outside of the Cutler facility are not affected by the recall.

Brands affected by the recall include a number of brands, including Sweet 2 Eat, Sweet 2 Eat Organic, Mrs. Smittcamp’s and Wawona Packing private labels. The product labelling may be found on stickers on the fruit itself, or on outer cartons.