Put those festive caramel apples back on the shelf. The CDC is warning of a multistate outbreak of listeria monocytogenes infections, linked to prepackaged caramel apples.
Of the currently ill people who were interviewed, 83 percent reported eating store-bought, prepackaged caramel apples before becoming ill.
Four people have died as a result of the infection, while others remain sick. Three children between the ages of 5 and 15 have been afflicted with meningitis as a result of listeriosis.
Currently investigators have said there is no apparent link between the influx of listeriosis cases and non-caramel-covered apples, nor in caramel on its own. This warning is specifically for commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including those that are also covered in chocolate, sprinkles, nuts and other toppings. Investigators are currently hard at work trying to determine which specific brands or which specific types of prepackaged caramel apples should be recalled.
For now, avoid purchasing or eating any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples.
If you have recently eaten a commercially prepared, prepackaged caramel apple and are feeling any of the symptoms of listeriosis (see here), contact your health care provider ASAP.
For more information, you can call the CDC at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636). And make sure to check back for updates.