A California avocado company volunteer recall shipments sent to six states after officials said the fruit may be contaminated with a bacterium that can cause health risks.
The revoked California adult avocados were packed at a California plant and distributed in that state, Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, the company, Henry Avocado Corporation, said in a statement on Saturday.
It was not immediately clear how many avocados were affected, but the company said that all shipments from the packaging plant were subject to recall. In an article published on the company's website about the move to the facility last year, officials said it would give them the opportunity to mature more than two million cartons of avocados each year.
Henry Avocado, based in Escondido, California, north of San Diego, said that the issued voluntary recall "Out of an Abundance of Caution" because a routine government control of the packaging plant had demonstrated positive test results for the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
Dr. Robert Glatter, a doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that listeria lives naturally in soil and water, and it produces can be contaminated by listeria living in the soil, or when fertilizer is used as fertilizer.
Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, black or elderly people and others with compromised immune systems, the company said. It can also lead to miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Healthy individuals may suffer from short-term and less severe symptoms such as high fever, severe headache and nausea, the company says.
Still, in his statement on Saturday, the company said that no disease related to the recall had been reported.
"We voluntarily revoke our products and take every possible measure to ensure the safety of consumers who eat our avocados," said Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado, in a statement. The company is "fully cooperative with federal and state health authorities to facilitate efficient and complete recall of these avocados," he added.
The affected products are sold in bulk in the stores, and the company said it was contacting buyers to ensure that the recalled avocados were immediately removed from the store shelves.
In particular, the company said that both its California-grown conventional and organic avocados had been affected. Consumers can identify the conventional avocados using the "Bravocado" stickers on them, the company said. Henry Avocado's organic products do not carry the "Bravocado" mark on the sticker, the company said; These products are labeled "organic" and include "California" on the sticker.
In his statement, the company urged consumers who bought recalled avocados, not to eat them, and either toss them or return them for repayment.  The company noted that avocados imported from Mexico and distributed by Henry Avocado were not the subject of the recall and could still be consumed.