A California producer is recalling avocados sold to retailers in bulk in six states over concerns that the fruit could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen that can cause serious illness.
Henry Avocado, a producer based in an Escondido, California, said in a statement it “is issuing this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution due to positive test results on environmental samples taken during a routine government inspection at its California packing facility.”
The recall covers both California-grown conventional and organic avocados. The company packed the fruit at its facility near San Diego and distributed it in bulk to retailers in Arizona, California, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
Henry Avocado said it started packing avocados at the Escondido facility in late January and that every shipment of avocados from there is subject to the recall. The recall does not affect Mexico-grown avocados, which are safe to eat.
The company says it has not received any reports of illnesses linked to its avocados and is contacting all its customers affected by the recall to make sure the products are immediately removed from store shelves.
Consumers can identify the recalled conventional avocados by their “Bravocado” stickers. Henry Avocado organic avocados do not carry the “Bravocado” label on the sticker, but have a label that says “organic” and “California.” Retailers can identify the recalled organic avocados by the bar code on the stickers.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals normally suffer short-term, flu-like symptoms, such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, but a listeria infection can cause stillbirth and miscarriage in pregnant women.
The producer urges consumers who purchased any of the recalled avocados to avoid eating them. Instead, the products should be thrown out or returned to the place of purchase for a full refund. Questions may be answered by contacting Henry Avocado at (760) 745-6632, Ext 132 or visiting www.henryavocado.com/media.
The recall follows a December announcement by the U.S. Food in Drug Administration (FDA) that nearly a fifth of avocados it has tested since 2014 turned up positive for Listeria on the outer skin. Although the skin is inedible, cutting into an unwashed avocado can transfer the bacteria to the inside of the fruit.