The FDA has identified peaches, plums and nectarines as the likely source of a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes, leading to a voluntary recall by HMC Farms.
The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, have been investigating the outbreak as new matching cases have been identified over the past several years. To date, there have been 11 reported illnesses, 10 hospitalizations and one death associated with the outbreak, spanning seven states (CA, CO, FL, IL, KS, MI, OH). Samples from sick people were collected from August 22, 2018, to August 16, 2023. According to a case-case analysis conducted by CDC, people in this outbreak were 18 times more likely to eat peaches, plums, or nectarines. This suggests that peaches, plums, and nectarines, are a likely source of this outbreak. On October 23, 2023, FDA collected samples of 2lb bagged peaches at The HMC Group Cold Storage in Kingsburg, California, and on November 7, 2023, the samples were reported positive and a match to the outbreak strain by Whole Genome Sequencing.
In response to this investigation, HMC Farms has voluntarily recalled peaches, plums, and nectarines sold in retail stores from May 1, 2022, through November 15, 2022, and from May 1, 2023, through November 15, 2023. The recalled fruit was sold at retail stores as individual pieces of fruit bearing PLU stickers or in consumer packaging; however, the recalled fruit is no longer available for sale and any previously purchased fruit should be past shelf life. The recalled products may still be in consumer’s freezers; the FDA is directing anyone who previously purchased the recalled fresh peaches, plums and nectarines and then froze them, to throw them away.