A California-based grower is recalling avocados across the nation after discovering traces of the bacteria during routine tests.

Credit: Johnny Miller

If you prefer to buy your avocados in bulk, you'll need to take a closer look at your bag's packaging as soon as possible: California-grown avocados are being recalled after traces of listeria monocytogenes were found during sample testing by the Henry Avocado Corporation.

According to a statement posted on the corporation's website, Henry Avocado launched the voluntary recall out of precaution after a routine test at one of its California-based packing facilities. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the avocados in question since the recall notice was published on Saturday.

Both commercial and organic avocados in bulk are being recalled by the company-they were bagged in California before being shipped across the state and to five other states, including Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin. Henry reports that every shipment packed in the facility since late January is being included in the recall. The growers shared that they've reached out to affected retailers in order to have the products pulled from shelves.

The easiest way to tell if your avocados are part of this recall is to check the produce stickers on the skin of the avocado itself. Avocados marked with a "Bravocado" sticker are included in the recall, Henry reports, but organic varieties labeled with the term "California" are also being recalled. Retailers can identify which organic products are being recalled using the full list of barcodes included in this announcement.

Customers are asked to bring back their avocados to the place of purchase for a full refund-or, at the very least, to correctly dispose of them so that bacteria won't spread further. Health officials in California and federal health investigators are working with Henry Avocados to track down affected batches as efficiently as possible, the company says.

For pregnant women, eating an avocado tainted with listeria bacteria could lead to serious complications, including miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, or a severe infection for newborns, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those with weakened immune systems are also at greater risk for critical side effects, which can include high fevers, body aches, abdominal pain, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues, such as chronic diarrhea. The surest way to recover from the illness is to see a healthcare professional and seek out antibiotics.


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