Pineapple in frozen fruit potentially exposed to Listeria, prompting wide recall

frozen pineapple in grey bowl on grey sheet
A voluntary recall was issued for frozen fruit sold by Sunrise Growers Inc. Pineapple in some of the products may have been contaminated with bacteria. (Image credit: Liudmyla Chuhunova/Getty)

The fruit processing company Sunrise Growers Inc. has issued a voluntary recall after finding that pineapple in some of its products may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Wednesday (June 21).

The full list of recalled products can be found in the FDA's announcement. They include products sold at Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Target, Aldi and AWG (Associated Wholesale Grocers) locations in many states across the U.S. The potentially contaminated pineapple was provided by a third-party supplier that Sunrise Growers will no longer conduct business with, according to the recall.

"Consumers are urged to check their freezers for the recalled product, not to consume it and either discard the product or return it to the store for a full refund," the FDA statement reads. Grocery stores have been notified of the recall and directed to remove recalled products from their shelves and inventories. Other Sunrise Growers products with different lot codes and "best by" dates are not affected. 

So far, no cases of illness have been associated with the recall, the FDA noted.

Related: Lethal Listeria outbreak: Why is this bug so dangerous? 

L. monocytogenes can cause an infection called listeriosis, which people typically get from eating contaminated food, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The illness most often affects older people ages 65 and up, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant people and their newborns. Others can contract listeriosis but are less likely to become seriously ill. 

If the bug infects the gastrointestinal tract, it can cause symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. If it spreads beyond the intestines and becomes "invasive," the bacteria can cause fever, flu-like symptoms, headache, stiff neck, loss of balance, confusion and seizures. If caught during pregnancy, invasive listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. 

In the past, listeriosis outbreaks have been linked to a wide range of foods, including unpasteurized milk, smoked fish, hot dogs, raw vegetables, ice cream and deli meats and cheeses

Nicoletta Lanese
Channel Editor, Health

Nicoletta Lanese is the health channel editor at Live Science and was previously a news editor and staff writer at the site. She holds a graduate certificate in science communication from UC Santa Cruz and degrees in neuroscience and dance from the University of Florida. Her work has appeared in The Scientist, Science News, the Mercury News, Mongabay and Stanford Medicine Magazine, among other outlets. Based in NYC, she also remains heavily involved in dance and performs in local choreographers' work.