State health and food safety officials are warning Minnesota consumers not to eat fresh, whole peaches supplied by Wawona Packing Company and purchased at retail locations including Aldi and Target after linking Salmonella infections to the produce.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and several other states, are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to consumption of fresh, whole peaches supplied by Wawona Packing Company.
Ill people reported purchasing peaches from Aldi, Target, and possibly other retail locations. On August 19, Aldi announced a recall of peaches from Wawona Packing Company, including both loose and bagged peaches (ALDI Voluntarily Recalls Assorted Peaches from Wawona Packing Company LLC Due to Possible Salmonella Enteritidis Contamination (PDF)). Target is also in the process of removing peaches from its stores.
Twenty-three Minnesotans have been identified as part of this outbreak, with a median age of 28 years (range, 3 to 92 years). The patients became ill between July 12 and Aug. 3. Six were hospitalized and all have recovered. As of this afternoon, there have been at least 68 cases of Salmonella Enteritidis infection identified in nine states. The investigation is ongoing and more cases may be detected.
Health officials recommend throwing out or returning fresh, whole peaches supplied by Wawona Packing Company. Do not eat them. Other peaches (including frozen or canned peaches) are not known to be affected. Fresh peaches supplied by other companies are not known to be affected. If people are unsure whether the peaches they bought are supplied by Wawona, they should contact the retail location where they were purchased. If they have any doubts about where their peaches came from, they should not eat them and should throw them away.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 96 hours after exposure, but they can begin up to two weeks after exposure. Infections usually clear in five to seven days, but about 28% of laboratory-confirmed cases require hospitalization. Many Salmonella infections in otherwise healthy people do not require medical treatment. More serious infections occasionally occur. For those who seek health care, most do not require antibiotics. However, antibiotic treatment may be warranted in some cases. If you’ve consumed these products, become ill and are concerned about your health, consult your health care provider.
Approximately 700-975 Salmonella infections are reported each year in Minnesota. More information on Salmonella and how to prevent it can be found on the MDH website at Salmonellosis (Salmonella).