Listeria Monocytogenes Food Poisoning

What is Listeria Food Poisoning?

Eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can cause an infection called listeriosis. Most often, these infections occur in pregnant women, newborn babies, seniors and people with compromised immune systems. It’s a serious but uncommon illness that is treated with antibiotics. About 1,600 cases are reported annually in the U.S. Almost all of them require hospitalization and about 20 percent prove fatal.

Symptoms of a Listeria infection, which can take up to 70 days to develop, include stiff neck, headache and muscle soreness sometimes preceded by nausea, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Complications include: meningitis, septicemia, pneumonia, hydrocephalus, encephalitis, seizures, blindness, brain stem damage, cranial nerve palsies, cervical cord compression and, among pregnant women miscarriage and stillbirth.

Were You or Your Family Member Sickened With Listeria?

Pregnant Women at Special Risk

Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than other people to contract listeriosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About one-sixth of all patients diagnosed with listeriosis are pregnant women. And the infection can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection in newborns. Even if the pregnant woman experiences only mild illness.

How Does Food Get Contaminated?

Listeria CDC
This is one cell of Listeria in tissue. According to the CDC, about 1,600 people become seriously ill each year. Of these, 260 die.

Listeria monocytogenes occurs in nature and is found in soil, water plants and the intestines of animals. The bacteria have been found in at least 37 species of mammal, 17 bird species and a variety of fish and shellfish. A hardy bacterium, it is remarkably resistant to freezing, drying, and, to some extent, heating.

Because animals can carry it in their intestines without becoming sick, this pathogen 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.

Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreaks

A variety of foods have been identified as the source of Listeria outbreaks. They include:

  • 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, certain soft cheeses, processed (or ready-to-eat) meats (for example, hot dogs and deli ham), smoked seafood.

Deli Meat and Cheese Sold at NetCost, other stores

Deli meats and cheeses sold at NetCost and other stores have been linked to a deadly Listeria outbreak that has led to at least 16 illnesses and one fatality in New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois. Meat and cheese sold at NetCost has been implicated in at least one past Listeria outbreak as well.

Listeria Recall for Multiple Brands of Brie and Camembert Cheese –

More than 25 brands of Brie and Camembert cheese have been recalled after being possibly linked to a Listeria outbreak going back to 2017. Cases have been identified so far in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas, but potentially contaminated product was shipped to all fifty states and more Listeria infections could still occur from these products.

2022 Listeria Outbreak Linked to Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked ice cream made by Big Olaf Creamery of Sarasota, Florida to a recent deadly Listeria outbreak. Anyone who has any Big Olaf Creamery brand ice cream at home should discard it immediately

As of July 2, 2022, the case count by state is Colorado (1), Florida (12), Georgia (1), Illinois (1), Kansas (1), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), and Pennsylvania (1). Affected people range from one year old to 92. Five people got sick during a pregnancy, and one illness resulted in a fetal loss. There has been one death reported so far in Illinois.

2021 Listeria Outbreak Linked to Fresh Express Salads

Fresh Express has issued a recall for all salads sold in: CT, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, ND, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, WI, and to the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba (the salads would have product codes Z324 through Z350). These salads may be contaminated with Listeria and should be returned to the store or disposed of immediately. At least 10 illnesses and 1 death have been associated with this outbreak so far. Fresh Express salads may have been contaminated as far back as 2016. If you or a family member has been sickened by Listeriacontact us today for a 100% free consultation about your legal options.

2021 Listeria Outbreak Linked to Dole Salads

Dole has issued a recall for all salads with product codes starting with an ‘N‘ or ‘Y‘. Just like with Fresh Express, these salads may be contaminated with Listeria and should be returned to the store they were purchased from or disposed of immediately. Dole salads have recently been implicated in at least 16 Listeria infections and at least 14 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. Dole salads have now been linked to Listeria cases going as far back as 2014. If you or a family member has been sickened, contact us today.

Cooked Chicken Linked to Tyson Brands

A Listeria outbreak linked on July 2, 2021 to pre-cooked chicken has led to the death of 1 person and hospitalized at least 3 more.  Tyson brands cooked chicken has been recalled related to this outbreak. Recalled chicken can also be found in prepared foods such as chicken salad sandwiches and Caesar salads.

El Abuelito, Rio Grande, and Rio Lindo Queso Fresco 

Cheeses sold under the brand names El Abuelito, Rio Grande, and Rio Lindo have been linked to an ongoing Listeria outbreak in Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Deli Meats and Cheeses

Deli meat and cheese have been repeatedly connected to Listeria outbreaks. A single 2020 outbreak linked to deli meat was implicated in at least 11 cases of listeriosis in New York, Massachusetts and FloridaIn January 2021 our food poisonings attorneys started investigating possible Listeria contamination of deli meat and cheese from what we believe is a single deli in California.  This investigation is ongoing.

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Cooked Chicken

In August of 2019, health officials linked a Listeria outbreak that sickened 24 people in 13 states, to cooked chicken. Two of the people sickened have died. The outbreak is likely linked to a multitude of Listeria recalls associated with Tip Top Poultry frozen, cooked, diced, or shredded ready-to-eat chicken products. Tip Top provided the recalled chicken to the Suter Company and Baja Foods, who then supplied it to E.A. Sween Company, who manufactured the products. Our Listeria legal team is representing a client who was hospitalized with Listeria after eating Tip Top chicken salad that was purchased from Sam’s Club in Papillon, Nebraska.

Johnson County Ham Listeria Outbreak

Four people in Virginia and North Carolina were sickened by the same strain of Listeria bacteria over more than a year: July of 2017 (1); June of 2018 (2); and August of 2018 (1). Ham products collected from the Johnston County Hams, Inc. facility in Smithfield, North Carolina, in 2016 and in early 2018 tested positive for the outbreak strain.

Vulto Creamery Raw Milk Cheese

Two people died and six were sickened in an outbreak linked to recalled Vulto Creamery soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses. That dairy is located in Walton, New York. The products were sold at Whole Foods stores and other retail outlets around the country.  The outbreak was announced in March 2017.  And a baby was born infected with listeriosis.

CRF Frozen Food’s Frozen Vegetable Products

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in conjunction with the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has since March 2016 been investigating a serious, nationwide outbreak. They have now pinpointed CRF Frozen Foods, based in Pasco, Washington, as the source of this outbreak, which has infected eight (8) people since September 13, 2013.

Miller’s Organic Farm Raw Milk

After 2 years, we now know that raw milk is most likely the source of an outbreak that sickened 2 people, one in California and one in Florida, in 2014. Miller’s Organic Farm in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania, is the likely source of this outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both people were hospitalized, and the person from Florida died.

If you or a loved one has been sickened, you can contact our Listeria lawyers for a free consultation about a Listeria lawsuit for compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. The Pritzker Hageman Listeria Team has won millions for our clients with wrongful death and personal injury claims including a $4.5 million award for a man who developed meningitis and suffered permanent brain damage.

Our law firm has helped people in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming.
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