David Oppenheimer and Company I, LLC has issued a voluntary recall of its organic green kiwifruit ... [+]
There’s now an Oppenheimer recall that doesn’t have anything to do with the movie. David Oppenheimer and Company I, LLC has issued a voluntary recall of its organic green kiwifruit after testing by the Kentucky Department for Public Health of kiwifruit samples on July 7, 2023, found some Listeria monocytogenes. And if you are kiwi-ous of what may happen should this bacteria go down your hatch, this isn’t the time to experiment and play diarrhea roulette. Listeria can not only lead to a lot of time on the toilet, it can also lead to more serious life-threatening conditions.
An August 8 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement described this this organic green kiwifruit as originally “grown in New Zealand, exported to North America and repacked locally for sale in one-pound clear plastic clamshells bearing the Zespri brand and UPC code 8 18849 02009 3, containing fruit stickered with the GTIN bar code 9400 9552.” This recall encompasses 14 different states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. So far, It does not include Zespri organic green kiwifruit sold in other states.
You may be wondering where you may have heard of such Listeria before. Well, this bacteria has reared its ugly head—not that it really has a head—several times over the past several months. For example, I’ve covered for Forbes the frozen fruit recall due to Listeria concerns in June, the Listeria outbreak in the state of Washington in July, and just yesterday a not-so-nice ice cream recall with yet another Listeria outbreak.
So, there may be no need to go through again how Listeria can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea, as I’ve described for Forbes previously. Or how it may turn into invasive listeriosis after entering your bloodstream and potentially central nervous system, especially in those with weaker immune systems such as very young children, adults over 65 years of age, and those with chronic medical conditions. And there probably no reason to rehash that the chances of dying when you have invasive listeriosis are like 10% to 20%. Oh, and why repeat the fact that Listeria brings additional risk if you’re pregnant such as miscarriages, premature deliveries, stillbirths, and infections in the newborn.
Suffice it to say that Listeria is something that you don’t want to get. And if someone were to ask, “Would you like your food with or without Listeria monocytogenes,” your answer should most definitely be “without.”
Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep paying close attention to any such food safety alerts. When you hear of a product being recalled, don’t purchase it. Don’t think, “This will be a great bargain because no one else is buying it.” And if you’ve already purchased the product, warp it up carefully so it doesn’t contaminate any else and return it for a refund as soon as possible. Make sure that you thoroughly clean anything—whether it’s counter tops, containers, plates, utensils, or hedgehog statues—that may have touched the suspect product. Putting stuff in the freezer isn’t go to kill Listeria as the bacteria can survive in such low temperatures. Only thoroughly cooking something at 165ºF (which is 74ºC) or hotter will kill the bacteria.
So, check your kiwi—meaning the fruit—before you put it into your mouth if you are in one of the 14 states affected by the recall. Make sure that it isn’t one of the Zespri products covered by the recall. If you don’t know what state you are in right now, ask someone around you. You don’t want to end up dealing with lots of Listeria.