Listeria Monocytogenes Food Poisoning

Listeria monocytogenes

Contact our law firm about a Dole lawsuit if you or a loved one contracted a Listeria infection, referred to as listeriosis, and the illness has been linked to a Dole lettuce salad product.

Listeria monocytogenes is a rod-shaped bacteria that causes an illness called listeriosis. L. monocytogenes bacteria have been found in at least 37 species of mammal, 17 bird species and some types of fish and shellfish. A hardy bacterium, it is remarkably resistant to freezing, drying, and, to some extent, heating.

People get listeriosis by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy.

Listeriosis Outbreaks

Outbreaks of listeriosis have been caused by the following:

  • Raw produce, including lettuce, cantaloupe, cucumbers, cilantro, peaches, nectarines, plums and apples (caramel apple outbreak in 2014);
  • Unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheese made from raw milk; and
  • Cooked or processed foods, including ice cream (Blue Bell), certain soft cheeses, processed (or ready-to-eat) meats (for example, hot dogs and deli ham), smoked seafood.

Our law firm represents people sickened by food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria and Listeriosis Clients

Pat and John are clients. We helped them obtain significant compensation from the company responsible for John’s Listeria infection. Pat and John have become tireless food safety advocates. Read their testimonial.

Pat and John are clients we helped after John contracted listeriosis. This is what Pat said about hiring attorney Fred Pritzker in an interview with the American Association for Justice (AAJ):

“John was unconscious and intubated. His blood pressure spiked. He had small strokes, sepsis. We hired PritzkerOlsen in June 2012. Fred Pritzker and Brendan Flaherty carried John and me through these months of fear. They found out through their investigation how John got sick, and where the contamination happened. Fred Pritzker knew more about Listeria than anyone in the medical field and anyone we came into contact with. We faced mounting medical costs, and our quality of life completely changed. We faced an uncertain future. We are grateful that we had a good lawyer on our side, and we decided that we would go forth with the lawsuit in September 2012. We are glad we did.”

We are privileged to count Pat and John as clients and friends.

Listeria Food Poisoning Symptoms

Listeria food poisoning (listeriosis) affects primarily persons of advanced age, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, persons without these risk factors can also rarely be affected.

15 Things You Need to Know about ListeriaInitial symptoms of listeriosis are usually flu-like.  In many cases, the person sickened does not seek medical help until the infection has moved to the brain, causing meningitis.  At this point, the person is extremely sick, and may die. In fact, of the 1,000 to 2,500 people who are infected each year in the U.S, 25 percent die as a result of the infection.

Some populations are much more susceptible to infection, including pregnant women, babies, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems (cancer, diabetes, HIV, etc.).

Pregnant women typically experience fever and other non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.


Complications include the following:

  • Meningitis
  • Septicemia
  • Pneumonia
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Encephalitis
  • Seizures
  • Blindness
  • Brain Stem Damage
  • Cranial Nerve Palsies
  • Cervical Cord Compression
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature Birth

Listeria Outbreaks in 2015

If you were sickened in 2015, you still have time to file a lawsuit.

Fred Pritzker

Listeria lawyer Fred Pritzker and his team are representing people sickened in Listeria outbreaks. You can contact Fred using our free consultation form.

  1. Dole Packaged Salad – At least 12 people from 6 states were sickened: Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), New Jersey (1), New York (4), and Pennsylvania (1).
  2. Blue Bell Ice Cream – At least 10 people from 4 states were sickened in an outbreak linked to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream, according to the CDC: Arizona (1), Kansas (5), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (3). The 5 people in Kansas were all sickened from “Scoops” eaten at Via Christie Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. The outbreak was over as of June 10, 2015. Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Elliot Olsen are representing people sickened in this outbreak. You can contact Fred and Elliot at 1-888-377-8900 for a free consultation.
  3. Soft Cheese Products – At least 24 people were sickened from 2010 through the summer of 2015 in an outbreak caused by contaminated soft cheese products distributed by Karoun Dairies, Inc., both California companies, according to the CDC. The states and illnesses in each are as follows: California (14), Colorado (1), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), New York (2), Ohio (1), Tennessee (1) and Washington (1). One woman had a miscarriage and one adult died.

Listeria Outbreaks in 2014

If you were sickened in an outbreak in 2014, you still have time to sue.

  1. Caramel Apples – At leaast 35 people from 12 states were sickened in an outbreak linked to several brands of caramel apples: Arizona (5), California (3), Colorado (1), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), Nevada (1), New Mexico (6), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). Caramel apple brands named in interviews included Happy Apples, Carnival, and Merb’s Candies, according to the CDC. Dates of onset of illness ranged from October 17, 2014, to January 6, 2015. Eleven illnesses were associated with a pregnancy (occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn infant). On miscarriage was reported. Most of those sickened were elderly, and many contracted Listeria meningitis. In addition three otherwise healthy children aged 5-15 also contracted meningitis. Thirty-four people were hospitalized, and listeriosis contributed to at least three deaths.
  2. Bean Sprouts – Whole-genome sequences of Listeria strains isolated from five ill people were found to be highly related to sequences of the Listeria strain isolated from mung bean sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy Products, Inc., according to the CDC. These ill people have been reported from two states: Illinois (4) and Michigan (1).  They became ill from June through August 2014. All five people were hospitalized, and two deaths were reported.  On August 28, 2014, Wholesome Soy Products, Inc. agreed to conduct a voluntary recall of mung bean sprouts and notified customers by telephone. Wholesome Soy Products, Inc. ceased production of sprouts on August 28, 2014, and resumed production on September 15, 2014.
  3. Soft Cheese Products – At least 5 people from 4 states were sickened in an outbreak linked to quesito casero cheese produced by Oasis Brands, Inc., according to the CDC: Georgia (1), New York (1), Tennessee (2), and Texas (1).  The first person became ill in September 2013, and four more recent illnesses occurred during June through October 2014. Four people were hospitalized. Three illnesses were related to a pregnancy – one of these was diagnosed in a newborn. One death was reported in Tennessee. On August 4, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. voluntarily recalled quesito casero. On October 6, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. expanded the recall to include cuajada en hoja (fresh curd). On October 16, 2014, Oasis Brands, Inc. announced an additional recall of various Lacteos Santa Martha and one HonduCrema brand cheese and dairy products.
  4. Soft Cheese Products – At least 8 people from 2 states (California (1) and Maryland (7)) were sickened in an outbreak linked to Roos Foods cheese products, according to the CDC.  Illnesses were diagnosed from August 1, 2013 to November 27, 2013. Seven of the eight ill persons were hospitalized. Five of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy, including four illnesses in two mother/newborn pairs, and one illness in only the newborn. One death was reported in California.

How Does Food Get Contaminated?

Because animals may carry it in their intestines without becoming sick, Listeria sometimes spreads to meat and dairy products. Although the bacteria are killed through cooking and other heating methods used to produce ready-to-eat foods such as pasteurization, some ready-to-eat foods become contaminated after processing. This kind of contamination can take place in the processing plant or on the road from the processor to your plate.

Outbreaks of illness are most commonly associated with ready-to-eat meat foods, including hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented or dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry. Soft cheeses are another common source of outbreaks.

Get Legal Help

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with listeriosis, you can contact our lawyers for a free consultation about a lawsuit for compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team are some of the few lawyers in the U.S. who practice extensively in the area of foodborne illness litigation. They have won millions for their clients and been quoted by The New York Times, CNN, Associated Press and others. Fred has spoken at Harvard Law School, Cornell and other venues about food safety.

Contact Fred Pritzker

My Husband Contracted Listeriosis

“When John tested positive for listeriosis, our family was horrified. . . . Watching as the illness took its toll on John’s body I was under terrible stress. The possibility that he might die overwhelmed me. . . . Fred [Pritzker] met John, and quietly told me that John could and would recover.  He knew more about listeria meningitis than any doctor I had so far met! . . . Fred fought very hard to get us a fair settlement, and for that I am grateful.” Read the full testimonial.

News and Topics

Can I Sue Blue Bell for Listeria in Ice Cream?

Yes, if your illness can be linked to one of the company’s ice cream products. If you are a family member of one of the three patients who died in the Kansas outbreak, you may have a wrongful death claim against Blue Bell. If you are one of the 2 survivors, you have a personal injury claim. If you or a loved one suffered severe harm, your case most likely should not be part of a class action suit. Ask our lawyers, “Why not a class action?”

Blue Bell Recall, Lawyers Investigating

Blue Bell Creameries has issued a recall of ice cream products after an outbreak of 5 cases was linked to Blue Bell Scoops served at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas.

Blue Bell Ice Cream Linked to Listeria at Via Christi Hospital in Wichita

Five patients of Via Christi Hospital in Wichita, Kansas, contracted infections in an outbreak linked to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream. Three of the patients died.

Caramel Apples: Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit should only be filed if the claimants have suffered similar harm. In this case, some of the people died, some developed meningitis, some were not as sick.

3 People Sick in WA, Recall of Queseria Bendita Cheese and Sour Cream

An outbreak in Washington has been linked to Queseria Bendita soft cheese and sour cream. All of the products were sold at the company’s on-site store in Yakima Washington.  To date 3 people are part of this outbreak. Two were hospitalized, one has died.

Amy’s Kitchen Recall

Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. issued a recall of about 73,897 cases of products containing spinach.

Wegmans Organic Frozen Spinach Recall

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. issued a recall of packages of Wegmans Organic Food You Feel Good About Just Picked Frozen Spinach after the company was notified by its spinach supplier that the product may be tainted.

Is Listeria Waiting at a Deli near You?

Standard cleaning procedures at retail deli departments may not eradicate this bacteria, according to Purdue University research. This puts babies, people with compromised immune systems and older people at risk of severe illness.

Groove Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches Recall

Great Feeling Foods, LLC of Portland, Oregon announced a recall of all Groove Gluten-free Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches produced between May 16, 2014 and December 20, 2014. These products contain custard ice cream that was made by Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream and recalled on December 23, 2014.

3rd Caramel Apple Recall, Merb’s Candies of St. Louis, MO

Merb’s Candies of St. Louis, Missouri, issued a caramel apple recall after learning one of its apple suppliers, Bidart Brothers, has been implicated in a Listeria outbreak that has sickened 29 people in 10 states. This is the third caramel apple recall in December of 2014. Other recalls include Happy Apples and California Snack Foods.

2 Soybean Sprouts Recalls in 2015

There have been 2 soybean sprouts recalls in 2015. Both recalls were issued after routine testing found this pathogen in product. The first recall was issued February 9 by Korean Food Co., a Texas company. The second sprouts recall in 2015 was issued by Hanbit Enterprises, Inc., a California company doing business as Jack and the Beanstalk.

Karm’l Dapple Recall

California Snack Foods issued a recall of some Karm’l Dapple brand caramel apples after one of its apple suppliers, Bidart Brothers, informed the company that there may be a connection between apples Bidart supplied to the company’s facility and an outbreak of listeriosis, an illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes.

Happy Apple Caramel Apples Recall

The following recall is connected to the outbreak linked to prepackaged caramel apples. Our lawyers are investigating a lawsuit against all responsible companies. Happy Apple Company issued a recall.

Fresh Curd Recall 2014

Global Garlic, Inc. of Miami, Florida, has recalled 2 De Mi Pais brand products: Cuajada Fresca (Fresh Curd) 12oz. and DeCuajada Olanchana (Fresh Curd) 12oz. The FDA is investigating cases of food poisoning associated with these products.

Del Monte Fruit Mix with Apples Recalled

Del Monte Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. (“Del Monte Fresh”) has recalled fresh cut fruit containing Gala red apples. A total of 3,051 consumer packages containing fresh cut Gala apples were distributed to Giant Eagle, Amazon Fresh, Sunoco, Peter’s Fruit, Wegmans, Sheetz and 7-Eleven.

Crema and Queso Recall

Illnesses are associated with a recall of crema and queso sold under the Lacteos Santa Martha brand. The recall was issued by Oasis Brands Inc. of Miami, which distributed the products in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina from April 1st thought October 14.

More Information

Free Consultation

You can click here now to contact our attorneys for your free consultation. You may have the legal right to file a lawsuit against a corporate wrongdoer for compensation. Many people contact our law firm about a class action lawsuit. Because the injuries for each of the outbreak victims is so different, a class action suit is not the appropriate way to seek compensation. We file individual suits to get the best compensation for our clients with personal injury and wrongful death claims.

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