A Listeria outbreak linked to deli meat has sickened 10 people, one of whom has died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illnesses, among people ranging in age from 40 to 89 years old, have been reported from three states: Florida, Massachusetts and New York. The fatality was reported from Florida.
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During interviews with health officials, the people sickened in this outbreak reported eating Italian-style deli meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto in the weeks before they became ill. They said they purchased these meats prepackaged and freshly sliced at deli counters at multiple locations.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that grows well in cold temperatures. Contaminated meat in a deli case could cross-contaminate nearby meats and cheeses, the CDC said in its report.
This is not the first time deli meats have been linked to a Listeria outbreak. In 2019, the CDC announced an outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses that had been ongoing for three years. That outbreak also included 10 illnesses and one fatality. The illnesses were reported from Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The people sickened in that outbreak reported eating meats and cheese sliced at deli counters in the weeks before they became ill. The outbreak strain was identified in samples of meat sliced at a deli, and from deli counters in multiple retail locations in New York and Rhode Island. However, health officials said they did not have enough evidence to narrow down which product was the source of contamination.
In 2018 a Listeria outbreak that had been ongoing for two years linked to Johnston County Hams sickened four people in two states.
Health officials are currently conducting a traceback investigation to determine if there is a specific deli meat that is the source of the outbreak and if there is a common supplier.
Symptoms of a Listeria infection can take as long as 70 days to develop. They include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.
The people sickened in this outbreak were tested for Listeria on dates ranging from August 6, 2020, to October 3, 2020. All of them were hospitalized.
The CDC advises that pregnant women, seniors, people with underlying health conditions and others at elevated risk of developing a Listeria infection avoid eating deli meats unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F.
If you are part of this outbreak and would like a free consultation with an experienced Listeria lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman Listeria Legal Team. We have represented clients in every major Listeria outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win.