HARTFORD — The listeria-related recall of potentially contaminated fruit this week from certain grocery stores in Connecticut and across the nation is no reason for people to panic, a Yale University medical expert said Wednesday.
Dr. Joshua Copel said the mere fact that someone recently ate a peach, plum, pear or other recalled fruit from Trader Joe's, Costco, Stop & Shop or one of the other stores involved doesn't mean they need to be tested or to see a doctor.
"Most people don't get sick from exposure to listeria," said Copel, who specializes in maternal fetal medicine with the Yale Medical Group. "Just having had the fruit doesn't mean you need any particular treatment or testing."
State officials said Wednesday they've had no reports of anyone in Connecticut coming down with listeriosis from the potentially contaminated fruit involved in the recall. Experts say the disease is rarely fatal but can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, muscle aches and nausea.
Copel said a person, particularly a pregnant woman, who does develop those symptoms after having consumed any suspect fruit should contact his or her doctor. He said about 5 percent of women in the U.S. routinely have listeria in their bodies and show no adverse effects.
"The need for antibiotics hinges on whether a pregnant woman has a fever," said Copel, and a listeria infection can result in miscarriage in some cases. He said his office has received a number of calls from doctors and from pregnant women concerned about the potential effect of exposure to listeria.
The recall issued by Wawona Packing Co. of California involved white and yellow nectarines, white and yellow peaches, plums and plucots (a blend of a plum and an apricot) that were sold at Trader Joe's, Costco, Stop & Shop and other stores.
The company's recall also applies to baked goods that include peaches, nectarines and plums from Wawona Packing Co. The recalls were triggered by the company's internal testing, which resulted in a shutdown and sanitizing of the California facility.
Officials said the potentially contaminated fruit was packaged between June 1 and June 12.
For information on the Wawona recall, go to http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm405943.htm.