A Listeria outbreak linked to Italian-style deli meat such as salami, prosciutto and mortadella has sickened seven people in Massachusetts, two people in New York and one person in Florida who died. All 10 people required hospitalization. Pritzker Hageman’s Listeria lawyers are offering free consultations to people sickened in this outbreak and to family members who have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one.
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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, during interviews with health officials. They recalled buying these meats prepackaged and freshly sliced at deli counters at multiple store locations.
In Massachusetts, illnesses were reported among patients ranging in age from 60 to 89 years old residing in three counties: Essex County (4), Suffolk County (2) and Middlesex County (1), according to the state health department. Six of them reported eating deli meat before they became ill. They said they purchased these products from a grocery store chain.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA- FSIS) is using information gathered from patients about products and stores to conduct a traceback investigation to determine the source of contamination.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that is found in the soil and in the intestines of cattle, poultry and other animals. Unlike other foodborne pathogens, it grows well in cold temperatures. One contaminated meat product in a deli case could cross-contaminate nearby meats and cheeses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in its report.
Deli meats have been linked to other Listeria outbreaks. In 2019, the CDC announced an outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses that had been ongoing since 2016. That outbreak, which included cases from Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, also included 10 illnesses and one fatality. It was not caused by the same strain of Listeria as the ongoing outbreak.
Like the current outbreak, case-patients reported eating meats and cheeses sliced at deli counters in the weeks before they became ill. Health officials in New York and Rhode Island identified the outbreak strain in samples of meat sliced at deli counters in multiple retail locations. However, USDA FSIS health said they did not have enough evidence to pinpoint which product was the source of contamination.
Symptoms of a Listeria infection include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. These symptoms can take as long as 70 days to develop but usually appear about two weeks after exposure to the contaminated food. Seniors, people with underlying health conditions and pregnant women are at elevated risk of developing Listeria infections. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.
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.