Lawyers recalled in 6 states over possible Listeria contamination



LOS ANGELES, March 25 (Reuters) – A California producer and distributor has voluntarily recalled his product from six US states, fearing possible Listeria contamination, a bacteria that can cause serious illness in some people.

No recall-related illness was reported, Henry Lawado Corporation said in its recall notice on Saturday, adding that the measure had been taken "as a precaution".

The recall concerns California-grown, conventionally grown and organic avocados that have been shipped to retailers in California, Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Wisconsin, the company said.

Classical avocados wear "Bravocado" brand stickers on the fruit, while organically grown products carry stickers labeled "bio" and the word "California", according to Escondido-based company , California, near San Diego.

The lawyers were recalled after environmental samples taken during a routine government inspection at California's packaging facilities were tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, the company said.

This bacterial strain can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in pregnant women, young children, the elderly or others with weakened immune systems. Risks for pregnant women include miscarriages and stillbirths.

Other exposed people may suffer from short-term symptoms such as high fever, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Avocados imported from Mexico and distributed by Henry, a family business, were not affected.

Consumers were urged to get rid of the recalled lawyers or return them to their place of purchase for a refund.

In the meantime, the company said that it was focusing on cleaning and disinfecting its packaging plant – a transaction performed and supervised by a third party – and that it would perform additional testing of samples prior to the resumption of fruit packing activities.

The California Avocado Commission is forecasting about 175 million pounds of state-wide harvest this season, about half of last year's harvest, due in part to unusually high temperatures last season growth. (Report by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, edited by Lisa Shumaker)


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