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Health Risk Leads To Avocado Recall

Henry Avocado Corporation is voluntarily recalling California-grown whole avocados sold in bulk at retail stores. Photo Credit: FDA
Henry Avocado Corporation is voluntarily recalling California-grown whole avocados sold in bulk at retail stores. Photo Credit: FDA

A California-based company has announced a recall of whole avocados due to a health scare following a federal inspection at its packing facility.

The Henry Avocado Corporation announced that “out of an abundance of caution due to positive test results on environmental samples” taken during a government inspection, they have recalled items sold in bulk to retailers due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

The recalled products – California-grown conventional and organic avocados -- were packed at Henry Avocado’s packing facility in California and distributed throughout the country. The potentially contaminated avocados were packed in late January.

The Food and Drug Administration Henry Avocado noted that Henry Avocados is contacting all affected customers to confirm that the recalled products are removed from store shelves.

For conventional products purchased at retail, consumers can identify recalled products by the “Bravocado” stickers. Henry Avocado organic products do not carry the “Bravocado” label on the sticker. Instead, those products are labeled “organic” and include “California” on the sticker. Retailers can identify Henry Avocado organic products by the bar code on the stickers.

“Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, FSIS noted.

"An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.”

Phil Henry, the president of Henry Avocado, said, “we are voluntarily recalling our products and taking every action possible to ensure the safety of consumers who eat our avocados.” 

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