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Carmel apples used to be a traditional fall treat, made a home as autumn brought about the apple harvest. Most people lack the time or wish to avoid the mess of making such items on their own. The grab some at the grocery store, typically packaged and ready to eat.

But in this era of modern, industrialized food production, that convenience sometimes has a prices. While processing food in centralized locations and then shipping it across the country can result in low prices, it also means when food is contaminate in a processing facility, it allows dangerous products, like ground beef containing E. coli, peanut butter contaminated with salmonella or caramel apples with listeria.

When people become sick or die because of this contamination, product liability lawsuits are filed to hold the negligent manufacturer accountable.

Listeria is a dangerous foodborne disease that lives in cool, damp conditions and often infects fruits and vegetables. It is a bacterial infection, and often feels like the flu, leaving victims feeling achy, nauseous, with headaches and fever.

This outbreak has 28 known cases, putting 26 in the hospital with five deaths. Listeria is a serious condition, and if you have consumed package caramel apples and feel as if you have the flu, seek medical help.

As this outbreak has shown, it can be deadly, as it can lead to meningitis. The elderly and pregnant women should be particularly careful. It can be transferred to unborn children and result in complications during birth or miscarriage.

According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cases have been found across the nation, from Texas and North Carolina, to Minnesota and California. No cases have been reported in the Chicago area or from Illinois.

Our industrialized food supply provides seemingly boundless, inexpensive food, but it can also spread illness and disease with just as much ease., “Caramel Apples Linked To Recent Listeria Outbreak,” Robert Glatter, MD, December 20, 2014