Now’s a good time to inspect your store-bought sliced fruit

Shelves full of plastic containers of fruit salad for sale
Photo: Stephan Stockinger / EyeEm (Getty Images)

Does the brand name “Country Fresh” ring a bell? Maybe not. But if you’ve purchased sliced fruit from Walmart recently, it’s likely to have been the Country Fresh brand—and you should inspect the label, because the company is issuing a voluntary recall on several varieties of sliced fruit shipped to nine different states, due to listeria concerns.

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According to the FDA, “The recall is a precautionary measure due to a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes detected on equipment used in an area near where these products are packed.” (This was discovered during a recent FDA inspection of Country Fresh facilities.) The recall announcement, posted on October 3, includes a chart listing which fruits packed on which dates are possibly contaminated. “Cut and/or sliced apples, grapes, mangoes, pineapples and cantaloupe” sold under the Freshness Guaranteed label at Walmart locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas are all at risk and should not be eaten. The products were sold in plastic clamshell containers with a “best if used by date” ranging from Oct. 3-11; you can see photos of the products here.

It’s worth noting that this is a voluntary recall and that no one has yet reported any illness from eating these products. Still, listeria can be especially severe in children, elderly people, and those with compromised immune systems; it can cause nausea, fever, and diarrhea, as well as miscarriages. So if you’ve got any of the offending fruit sitting your fridge, throw it out.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Dr Emilio Lizardo

I don’t really understand sliced fruit for home use. It costs more, doesn’t keep as long, and saves minimal effort.  If you are grabbing something on the go or getting a tray for the office that’s one thing, but I don’t know why people buy a tub of sliced fruit to have in their fridge.