One More Reason to Avoid Candy Apples

published Oct 15, 2015
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(Image credit: Kittibowornphatnon)

Caramel apples are just not my thing, y’all. I have never been able to reconcile the sweet and gooey (or crunchy and tooth-breaking) coverage of what is already a very sweet fruit. Sure, they look gorgeous, but do they actually taste good? Well, here’s one more reason to avoid candy and caramel apples: your health.

No, I don’t just mean avoiding sugar (although that too), but the fact that unrefrigerated caramel apples were linked to a listeria outbreak last year that killed seven people and caused a miscarriage. But apples and caramel alone don’t usually harbor listeria, so what’s up?

After some research, the culprit turned out to be the dipping stick itself, and how it opens the fruit up to bacteria. The danger is exacerbated if the apple is left unrefrigerated for long periods of time, so any caution here applies almost entirely to store-bought, shelf-stable candy apples — not ones you would make yourself at home.

Overall, this is hardly the most dangerous of all food-safety risks, but it’s one more reason to say no thanks to those giant balls of candied sweetness.