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A Missouri company is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples following the federal probe of a listeria outbreak tied to five deaths and nearly 30 illnesses in 10 states. The recall, announced Wednesday by the Happy Apple Co. of Washington, Missouri, involves caramel applies sold with “best used by” dates between Aug. 25 and Nov. 23.
“This recall is in response to the CDC’s investigation into a number of listeriosis cases that may be linked to caramel apples and the recall of apples supplied by Bidart Brothers to our California processing facility,” says a recording on the company’s consumer hotline.
The caramel apples cited are no longer available in stores. “However, out of an abundance of caution and concern for consumer safety, we are recommending that consumers follow the advice from the CDC and remove any caramel apples you may have in storage and dispose of them in a secure container to avoid potential contamination in animals,” the recording says.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted 29 cases of people sickened with the same strains of the bacterial illness listeria. At least 26 of those people were hospitalized. Among those hospitalized, five died, and the agency said listeriosis contributed to at least four of the deaths, the CDC reported Dec. 19.