Henry Avocado Corporation is voluntarily recalling its avocados sold in bulk in retail stores across six states due to potential listeria contamination.

Conventional and organic avocados produced by Henry Avocado Corp. which are sold in California, Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, were included in a recent product recall.

A routine government inspection of environmental samples at the company's California packing facility showed positive results on listeria.

"We are voluntarily recalling our products and taking every action possible to ensure the safety of consumers who eat our avocados," said Phil Henry, president of Henry Avocado.

Henry Avocado Corp. said it is contacting all affected customers to confirm that the recalled products are immediately removed from store shelves.

The Food and Drugs Administration said that there are no reported illnesses associated with the recall.

California-Grown Avocados Only

The recall covered only the company's California-grown conventional and organic avocados. All shipments from the California-packing plant are subject to the recall.

Avocados imported from Mexico and distributed by the company are not included in the recall and may continue to be sold and consumed.

The Food and Drug Administration published the Henry avocados recall announcement on its website.

Listeria Monocytogenes

Listeria or listeriosis is a serious infection caused by consuming food contaminated with the listeria monocytogenes bacterium. About 1,600 people acquire the said infection each year and causes about 260 deaths. It is the third leading cause of death from food-borne illness or food poisoning in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Listeria can result to serious or sometimes fatal infection. Those who have a greater risk of listeria food poisoning are young children, elderly people aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems. Pregnant women infected with listeria are at risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

Healthy individuals may also suffer from short-term symptoms of listeria, including high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Always Check The Label

Consumers are advised to check product labels to know if the avocados are affected by the recall.

Henry's conventional avocado products have "Bravocado" stickers, while the organic avocados are labeled with the words "organic" and "California." Organic avocados do not bear the "Bravocado" label and may also be identified through bar codes.

The FDA has advised consumers not to eat avocados affected by the recall. Customers who bought the recalled products can either discard or return them to the place of purchase to get a full refund.

Nearly 90 percent of local avocado production grows in California. The United States is the second largest producer of avocados worldwide after Mexico.

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