Caramel Apples Caused Outbreak of Listeriosis: CDC Issues Warning

Caramel Apples

The information CDC has at this time indicates that commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may be contaminated with Listeria. Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends that U.S. consumers not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided.
    • Although caramel apples are often a fall seasonal product, contaminated commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may still be for sale at grocery stores and other retailers nationwide or may be in consumers’ homes.
    • These products could have a shelf life of more than one month.
  • If you have any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples in your home, throw them away. Place them in a closed plastic bag in a sealed trash can to prevent other people or animals from eating them.
  • At this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not prepackaged or to caramel candy.
  • There is no evidence currently linking illnesses to homemade caramel apples. If you are unsure if a caramel apple is commercially produced or homemade, then you should not eat it.
  • If you think you might have become ill with signs and symptoms of listeriosis after eating a commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apple, contact your health care provider.
  • New information will be provided as it becomes available.

Advice to Retail Establishments

The information CDC has at this time indicates that commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may be contaminated with Listeria. Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening infection.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends that U.S. retailers not sell or serve commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided.
    • Although caramel apples are often a fall seasonal product, contaminated commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may still be for sale at grocery stores and other retailers nationwide.
    • These products could have a shelf life of more than one month.
  • New information will be provided as it becomes available.