Huwag bumili o kumain ng apples na ito:

by Dr Willie Ong 

May imported apples mula sa California ang konektado sa pagkamatay ng 7 tao.  Ang tatak nito ay GALA at GRANNY SMITH apples. Sa Amerika ay pinapa-recall o inaalis na ito sa kanilang merkado.

Pero sa Pilipinas ay binebenta pa rin ang mga ito.  Galing lang po ako ngayon sa isang supermarket. Heto ang hitsura ng mga mansanas. May litrato ng 2 safe at 2 hindi safe na mansanas.

bad_applePhotos taken at a supermarket today, January 26, 2015.

Tandaan: Gala at Granny Smith California apples ay HINDI safe. Huwag bilhin.
Okay lang ang Washington at Fuji apples.

Kung walang marka kung saan nanggaling ang mansanas, huwag na ito bilhin. Kung may duda po kayo, itapon na lang para ligtas ang pamilya. Ibang prutas na lang muna ang kainin natin. Mas safe pa.

Ang sintomas ng Listeria infection mula sa pagkain ng kontaminadong mansanas:

– lagnat
– pagtatae
– muscle pain
– pananakit ng tiyan

Lumalabas ang sintomas makalipas ng ilang araw pagkatapos kumain ng mansanas.

Health Advisory:
January 26, 2015

California Apples Linked To Deadly Listeria Outbreak.
By Dr Willie T. Ong

Note: Around 375,000 cartons of possibly contaminated apples were exported to the Philippines.
An apple packing plant in California, USA, has been linked to a deadly listeria outbreak according to the U.S. FDA.

As of January 10, a total of 32 people across 11 states have been infected with listeria. Seven deaths have been reported.

The Cause of the Outbreak

A bacteria called listeria was first found in prepackaged caramel apples. But the FDA is concerned that other products may be tainted.

On January 6, 2015, Bidart Brothers of Bakersfield, California voluntarily recalled all Granny Smith and Gala apples after environmental testing showed positive contamination with Listeria at the firm’s apple packing facility.

Other brand names are Granny’s Best. Some apples may not have brand names at all.

Philippines Import These Products

In a Philippine Daily Inquirer news report (Jan. 15, 2015), it states that the US FDA had informed the Philippines that the Gala apples (“Big B”) and Granny Smith apples (“Granny’s Best” or “Big B”) from the 2014 production were being recalled due to their association with the Listeriosis outbreak.

The report continues, “Some of these recalled apples have been exported to the Philippines through its consignees, International ProduceGroup LLC, and MB Fresh International. About 30,000 cartons of Gala apples (40 lb. per carton); 345,000 cartons of Granny Smith; and 600 Triwall (700 lbs.) were shipped to the Philippines.”

What Is Listeriosis?

Listeriosis is a serious illness caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.  Symptoms include

– fever
– chills
– muscle aches
– sometimes preceded by diarrhea or stomach cramps

These symptoms were found in some people who ate the tainted, commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples. Symptoms can appear a few days to a few weeks after eating the contaminated food. Some people have died.


Pending an official DOH-FDA statement, here are my tips for the public:

1. Don’t buy apples imported from Bidart Bros. apple-packing facility in California. If you think you may have these apples in your refrigerator, throw them away.
2. If you cannot determine whether these apples could have come from the Bidart Bros. plant in California, then it’s best to just throw them away.
3. Because listeria can live in cold temperatures, it can contaminate other food items in your fridge. Hence, you have to sanitize the walls and shelves of your refrigerator. Use a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach added to 1 gallon of hot water. You should sanitize the chopping boards, utensils and counter tops that came in contact with these items. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
4. For other imported products like apple chips and apple juice, there has been no definitive advisory on these. However, common sense dictates that we refrain from eating these items for the moment.
5. Monitor the news to see when these California-produced apples are safe to eat again.

(Dr. Willie Ong served as Department of Health media consultant from 2010 to 2014.)


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Related reading:

Clarificatory statement of the US Embassy regarding contaminated US Granny and Gala apples

Advisory #2: Listeria Infection: What To Do If You’ve Eaten Contaminated Apples

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