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Wawona Packing expands Listeria-related recall

Wawona Packing Co. of Cutler, CA, is expanding its July 19 voluntary recall of whole white and yellow peaches, white and yellow nectarines, plums and pluots due to the potential of the products being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The July 19 recall covered specific lots of products packed June 1-July 12, but Wawona has expanded the recall, as a precautionary step, to cover all products packed in the Wawona Packing Co. facility June 1-July 17 because the company’s experts have yet to identify with scientific certainty the source of Listeria monocytogenes in the facility.

Beginning on July 18, no products have been packed at the Wawona Packing facility in Cutler. Products packed on or after July 18 outside of the Wawona Packing Co. facility are not affected by this recall.

Wawona Packing shipped the recalled products directly to retailers and wholesalers who resell or further distribute the products. "Because we do not know the locations of the companies or stores that received the products from our direct customers, the company is issuing a nationwide recall," Wawona announced in a press release.

Wawona Packing has already notified its business customers of the expanded recall, and requested that they remove the additional recalled products from commerce. Wawona Packing is voluntarily recalling these products in consultation with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

The July 19 recall was initiated based on internal company testing. The company shut down the packinglines, retrofitted equipment, sanitized the facility and is working with experts on Listeria in making further improvements to the food-safety program.

"Our packinglines in the Cutler, California facility will not reopen until we know, in consultation with experts, that they are safe," the company stated in the release.

“Wawona Packing believes in the highest standards of food safety," Brent Smittcamp, company president, said in the release. "We have been working around the clock to determine the source of the Listeria monocytogenes. We have brought in nationally known experts in food safety to investigate every part of our packing facility, and we are working with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration."

Consumers can identify the recalled products by the information provided in the linked photographs. The recalled products include the following brands marketed to consumers: "Sweet 2 Eat," "Sweet 2 Eat Organic," "Mrs. Smittcamp’s," and are also packed in private labels.

These brands will be on the boxes or on the stickers placed on individual fruit. Anyone who has the recalled products in their possession should not consume them and should discard them. If consumers are seeking reimbursement, they should return to the store where they purchased the product to request a refund, providing proof of purchase or receipt if available.

Consumers with questions may contact Wawona Packing’s consumer information desk at 888/232-9912 or visit www.wawonapacking.com.