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Update: Peaches sold at Willie's included in nationwide recall

Elberta peaches sold at Willie's since July 15, 2014 are part of a nationwide recall from a California fruit packing company due to potential listeria contamination. (Brooke Kern/Sun Tribune)

MORRIS – A California fruit packing company has recalled certain lots of whole peaches, nectarines and plums and pluots due to a potential listeria contamination.

The crates of Elberta Canning Peaches sold at Willie’s SuperValu in Morris since July 15 are included in the voluntary recall by Wawona Packing, said Lori Martin, produce manager at Willie’s.

The peaches were sold in 17 pound crates and in bulk on tables in the produce area. Other peaches are not affected by the recall. 

Martin said customers can dispose of the peaches themselves or return them to Willie’s for disposal and a refund. Customers can also bring in a receipt or empty crate to the store for a refund.

Canning the peaches may not eliminate the listeria, and freezing will not kill it, said Martin.

On Tuesday, Willie's sent out an e-mail addressing many frequently asked questions about the recall

Listeria is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the recall was initiated based on internal company testing. The company shut down the implicated packing lines, retrofitted equipment, sanitized the facility and retested. Subsequent daily test results have been negative.

"We are aware of no illnesses related to the consumption of these products" said Brent Smittcamp, president of Wawona Packing. "By taking the precautionary step of recalling product, we will minimize even the slightest risk to public health, and that is our priority."