CINCINNATI, Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) today announced its decision to withdraw from sale unrefrigerated caramel apples that have been pierced with dipping sticks due to new scientific evidence that the product, if left unrefrigerated, may be at risk for listeriosis.
No illnesses have been reported in connection with these products. Kroger made its decision out of an abundance of caution after reviewing a study published online by the American Society of Microbiology.
"After reviewing the study, we have decided to voluntarily withdraw unrefrigerated caramel apples from our stores," said Dr. Payton Pruett, Kroger's vice president of food safety. "While we believe the potential health risk is minimal, we are acting out of an abundance of caution on behalf of our customers."
The Kroger family of stores has pulled these products from shelves and distribution centers and has disposed of them.
Dr. Pruett added that the company is open to carrying these products again in the future and will work with suppliers to reduce the risk of bacterial growth.
Kroger is a recognized leader in food safety and a past recipient of the International Association for Food Protection's prestigious Black Pearl Award for advancing food safety and quality.
Kroger, one of the world's largest retailers, employs nearly 400,000 associates who serve customers in 2,623 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 781 convenience stores, 327 fine jewelry stores, 1,350 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and community organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 200 million meals a year through more than 100 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber's Million Dollar Club.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.