On Oct. 1, the food manufacturer Country Fresh voluntarily recalled its watermelon sold at two retailers. Two days later, the company expanded the recall to include more products beyond just the watermelon. If you recently purchased pre-cut fruit, take a moment to check and see if you should be tossing it out.
Country Fresh has voluntarily recalled several types of cut, sliced and packaged fruit, including watermelon, apples, cantaloupe, grapes, mangoes and pineapples.
During a recent inspection, FDA officials detected Listeria monocytogenes on equipment used in an area near where the fruit is packed, prompting the brand to recall the items.
The watermelon was sold at RaceTrac gas stations and Walmart stores, while the other produce was only sold at Walmart locations. The affected produce was sold in the following states:
The fruit was sold in plastic clamshell containers in the stores’ produce sections. Most were cut, sliced or otherwise prepared, including the following.
- Watermelon chunks, spears and melon trio (sold at Walmart and RaceTrac stores);
- Apples, including red slices, green slices, mixed slices and apple/grape trays with caramel;
- Cantaloupe chunks;
- Mango chunks and spears;
- Pineapple chunks and spears;
- Red grapes; and
- Several mixed fruit containers, including seasonal fruit trays, summer blend, tropical blend, pineapple/grape/mango blend, seasonal blend and seasonal trio.
At Walmart, the fruit containers were labeled with the “Freshness Guaranteed” stamp, as you can see on this mixed fruit container:
The “best if used by” dates on the affected containers are between Oct. 3 and Oct. 11, and you can find a list of the items’ UPC codes here.
There have been no reports of illness from the fruit to date. Retailers immediately began removing the products from store shelves and inventories upon learning of the recall.
Country Fresh is also working with the FDA to resolve the matter and prevent future potential risks. Listeria infection can be serious or even fatal to young children, and those who are elderly, pregnant or have weakened immune systems. For otherwise healthy adults, symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Customers who have any recalled product on the list should not consume it and should discard it immediately. For questions, contact the customer service department at Country Fresh, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time at 877-251-8300.
In addition, Walmart has posted a list of the stores where the recalled fruit was sold, which you can find here.