Recall of Peaches, Plums, and Nectarines Across Seven States Linked to Deadly Listeria Outbreak

published Nov 21, 2023
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Wicker basket filled with a bounty of stonefruit including peaches, nectarines, and plums.
Credit: Jess Lessard Photography/Getty Images/iStockphoto

We’re in the final days of Thanksgiving prep, and it’s the time that we handle all those last-minute tasks for entertaining friends and family before a big feast. But if those plans are going to involve welcoming people with a fresh fruit salad or incorporating that fruit into dessert, it may be a wise idea to double-check where and when that fruit was purchased.

California-based HMC Farms has voluntarily recalled recently distributed whole peaches, plums, and nectarines after a listeria outbreak that killed one person and left 10 people hospitalized in seven states, including California, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Florida.

The CDC’s food safety alert said the fruit was sold in 2022 and 2023, from May 1 to November 15 each year, both individually and in two-pound bags, and sold nationwide by chains that include Walmart and Sam’s Club. These bags were marked “HMC Farms” or “Signature Farms.” However, this outbreak is actually one that can be traced back several years, with records of illness tracing back as early as August 2018, and it’s possible more people than those counted were impacted and just recovered without medical intervention or weren’t tested at the time.

The fruit being recalled includes a “USA-E-U” code and a number.

  • Yellow peach: 4044 or 4038
  • White peach: 4401
  • Yellow nectarine: 4036 or 4378
  • White nectarine: 3035
  • Red plum: 4042
  • Black plum: 4040

“Investigators are working to determine if any additional fruit or products made with this fruit may be contaminated,” the CDC wrote in a food safety alert

Listeria is especially dangerous in young children, older people, pregnant women, and those with weak immune systems. Symptoms include fevers, stomach issues, and headaches, and these issues can sometimes have severe complications. So, it’s very important to pay attention to any sort of recall like this as soon as notified.

This isn’t something we want to think about while putting the finishing touches on our Thanksgiving turkeys, but it’s very important and can keep a beloved friend or family member from getting sick over the holiday! If this fruit happens to be in your home, throw it out, and maybe consider making a chocolate dessert instead this year.