Food Safety Expert, TGPR Partner Susan Tellem Weighs in on Bidart Apple Recall


An apple a day keeps the doctor away, unless of course the apples are part of a massive food poisoning crisis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has led to the infection of 32 people in 11 states; sadly, three of those cases were fatal (thirty-one were hospitalized).

According to a recent Bakersfield Californian article, “Most of the people who were sickened had eaten prepackaged caramel apples. Affected brands included Happy Apple, Carnival and Merb’s Candies.” The apples originated at processing plant Bidart Bros. — and they are doing a reasonably good job handling the crisis according to resident food safety expert and TGPR Partner Susan Tellem, who was interviewed for the article:

Especially when there are deaths involved, I wouldn’t advise anyone to talk to a newspaper reporter or go on TV. But they put out a statement saying they’re sorry and their hearts go out to the families, which you’d expect, and they’ve been forthcoming and are working with the government to figure out exactly what happened. Bidart has to maintain relationships with key buyers whom it is no doubt working hard to put at easebut it is less vulnerable to the wrath of consumers. Most people don’t look at a brand name when they’re buying produce. They look at the name of the grocery store. Supermarkets, Tellem added, could probably do a better job of allaying consumer concerns.

Read the full article about the ongoing crisis plus learn more about “the gold standard of crisis management,” the Tylenol recall of 1982:

-Dan Grody, TGPR