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    US Food Firm Recalls Caramel Apples Over Listeria Risk

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    American Happy Apples is urgently recalling its caramel apples as four people have died after eating them. The US Food and Drug Administration has found that the candies are contaminated with dangerous Listeria bacteria that can kill those with weak immune systems.

    MOSCOW, December 25 (Sputnik) — American food company Happy Apples is recalling its caramel apples because of the possibility of their contamination with Listeria bacteria, which has already caused five deaths in a recent outbreak, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement Thursday.

    Happy Apples recalled its caramel apples with use-by dates between August 25 and November 23, after the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported Tuesday that 20 of 29 people hospitalized with Listeriosis ate commercially produced and prepackaged caramel apples before falling ill. According to the CDC, five of them died, though one of the deaths was unconnected to Listeriosis.

    Happy Apples' caramel apples were available in grocery stores in over 30 American states, while 10 of these states registered cases of Listeria. The CDC reported that the bacteria began to spread presumably between October 17 and November 27.

    Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that causes serious infections of Listeriosis, known for its high mortality rates among newborns, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weak immune systems. Healthy persons may suffer only short-term symptoms. The main way Listeria is contracted is by ingesting contaminated food products.

    The CDC considers Listeriosis "an important public health problem in the United States."


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