The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Adam Garber, (267) 515-1220,
Josh Chetwynd, Communications Mgr., (303) 573-5558,

California Avocados Recalled in Six States Over Listeria Fears

Second major recall in less than a week underscores food safety system concerns


Henry Avocado Corporation is recalling avocados potentially contaminated with the deadly listeria bacteria. Listeria is especially serious when contracted by young children or elderly whose weakened immune systems can turn a simple infection into a fatal disease. Pregnant women can also suffer miscarriages or stillbirths. Consumers often fail to wash the outside of avocados, heightening the risk.

Adam Garber, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Consumer Watchdog, issued the following statement:

"We are barely getting a chance to breath between recalls. What stands out is the breadth of dangers we're seeing because of failures in the food safety system. Last week, Tyson's recalls chicken because it might contain metal, and now avocados are potentially laced with listeria, a bacteria that a little more than a year ago killed 200 in South Africa.

We are grateful that Henry Avocado and the Agriculture Department are taking the necessary steps to get these potentially dangerous items off shelves. But this situation once again proves that food producers and our government agencies must refocus their efforts and institute common sense measures like those outlined in our report How Safe is Our Food? to ensure that Americans are safe every time they sit down to eat a meal."

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.