US: Fate of Listeria monocytogenes in fresh apples and caramel apples
International Association for Food Protection: An outbreak of listeriosis in late 2014 and early 2015 associated with caramel apples led to questions about how this product became a vector for Listeria monocytogenes. This investigation aimed to determine information about the survival and growth of L. monocytogenes in both fresh apples and caramel apples, specifically examining the effects of site and level of inoculation, inoculum drying conditions, and storage temperature. At a high inoculation level (7 log CFU per apple), L. monocytogenes inoculated at the stem end proliferated on Gala caramel apples at both 5 and 25°C and on Granny Smith caramel apples at 25°C by as much as 3 to 5 log CFU per apple. Fresh apples and caramel apples inoculated at the equatorial surface supported survival but not growth of the pathogen.