This Powerhouse Fruit Was Just Recalled in 14 States Due to Listeria Concerns

Whether you slice and dice this fuzzy superfood or scoop it straight from the skin, you'll want to check your label carefully.

A company whose website says it is “a leading distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables to food retailers throughout North America” is voluntarily recalling all one-pound packages of a popular fruit because of potential contamination with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.

According to the U.s. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), David Oppenheimer and Company I LLC is recalling Zespri brand organic kiwi that was shipped between June 14, and July 7, 2023, and sold at retail locations in 14 states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. All recalled products have the UPC code 8 18849 02009 3 and contain fruit stickered with the GTIN bar code 9400 9552.

The recall occurred after the Kentucky Department for Public Health conducted a routine sampling of the fruit. David Oppenheimer and Company I LLC say they have worked with Zespri to trace the product through the supply chain to two grower lots. Since they were notified, the company reports having stopped distributing kiwi from the related grower lots and continues its investigation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Fortunately, no illnesses had been reported a press time. Unlike other fruit, the fuzzy brown kiwi can stay fresh for weeks so it’s important to check all packages. Don’t eat kiwi in recalled lots.

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Zespri Recalled Kiwis Courtesy FDACourtesy FDA

How harmful is Listeria?

About 1,600 people are infected with listeria each year, and about 260 of them will die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Listeria can cause serious and potentially fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and folks with weakened immune systems. Otherwise-healthy individuals may experience high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Listeria is highly dangerous for pregnant women and can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

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Is your kiwi safe?

Zespri organic green kiwifruit sold in other states is not currently being recalled.  In addition, Zespri organic green kiwifruit shipped after August 7, 2023 in one-pound plastic packages with a white sticker that includes Work Order (WO) number and packed-on date is not being recalled. No other David Oppenheimer and Company I, LLC products are part of this voluntary recall.

Call David Oppenheimer and Company I, LLC (Oppy) at 1-866-698-2580, Monday-Friday, 9 am-4:30pm PDT, or send an email to [email protected] with any questions and concerns.

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Denise Mann, MS
Denise Mann is a freelance health writer whose articles regularly appear in WebMD, HealthDay, and other consumer health portals. She has received numerous awards, including the Arthritis Foundation's Northeast Region Prize for Online Journalism; the Excellence in Women's Health Research Journalism Award; the Journalistic Achievement Award from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; National Newsmaker of the Year by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; the Gold Award for Best Service Journalism from the Magazine Association of the Southeast; a Bronze Award from The American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (for a cover story she wrote in Plastic Surgery Practice magazine); and an honorable mention in the International Osteoporosis Foundation Journalism Awards. She was part of the writing team awarded a 2008 Sigma Delta Chi award for her part in a WebMD series on autism. Her first foray into health reporting was with the Medical Tribune News Service, where her articles appeared regularly in such newspapers as the Detroit Free Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News, and Los Angeles Daily News. Mann received a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and her undergraduate degree from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. She lives in New York with her husband David; sons Teddy and Evan; and their miniature schnauzer, Perri Winkle Blu.