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Family Sues Safeway After Felton Woman Dies From Listeria After Caramel Apple Purchase

FELTON (CBS SF) -- A lawsuit has been filed after a Santa Cruz County woman's family says she became ill, and eventually died due to listeria from a caramel apple she bought at a local Safeway grocery store.

A Seattle lawyer filed a complaint in the Santa Cruz County Superior Court on behalf of the family of 81-year old Shirlee Jean Frey, of Felton, who they say purchased the tainted apple before Halloween of this year.

The complaint alleges that Frey became so ill that she fell, hitting her head in early November, the Seattle Times reported.

Frey was hospitalized, and died December 2nd with a listeria infection.

29 people had been sickened or hospitalized as of Monday.  Safeway pulled the apples from all of its stores, but issued a statement to the Times saying, "We are aware of the issue regarding caramel apples, and have proactively removed the product from sale in our stores.  However, we are currently not aware of any illness tied to items purchased in our stores."

No specific brands have been named, and no recalls have been issued over the contaminated apples.  The CDC was urging consumers to avoid all commercially made caramel apples.

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