A deadly Listeria outbreak linked to deli meat and cheese sold at NetCost and other stores has ended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak included 16 illnesses and one fatality. Thirteen people were hospitalized, one pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage.
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Symptoms of a Listeria infection include severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, other muscle stiffness, confusion, and loss of balance. Pregnant women who develop Listeria infections can suffer miscarriage or stillbirth even if they only experience mild, flu-like symptoms. The people sickened in this outbreak reported the onset of symptoms between April 17, 2021, and September 29, 2022.
The people who developed Listeria infections after eating deli meats and cheeses range in age from 38 to 92 years old. Their median age is 74. Ten of them are male. Eleven patients are of Eastern European background or speak Russian.
NetCost Market started as a food service for Eastern European immigrants and now operates full-service grocery stores in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania that offer a variety of imported foods. However, because not all of the people sickened in this outbreak shopped at NetCost, health officials think it’s likely that a meat or cheese product contaminated with Listeria is the source of the outbreak. Deli meat and cheese are common sources of Listeria outbreaks.
Previous NetCost Listeria Outbreak
Health officials interviewed outbreak patients about the foods they ate before they became ill. Most of them mentioned eating meat or cheese from deli counters. And tests that can identify the genetic “fingerprint” of bacterial strains show a close resemblance among Listeria cultures from patients. That means they all were likely sickened by the same source.
Last year, a Listeria outbreak that sickened three people was linked to ready-to-eat food from the deli counter at NetCost Market in Brooklyn. Health officials found the Listeria strain in environmental samples collected from the Brooklyn deli, in several open packages of mortadella and ham sliced there, and in sliced salami from a NetCost Market deli on Staten Island. After those findings, the Brooklyn deli closed for a deep cleaning and did not reopen until environmental testing showed no Listeria.
It is that same Brooklyn NetCost Market deli where the outbreak strain was found in 2022. However, according to the CDC, the most recent illness with NetCost Market exposure was in October 2021.
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If you were sickened in this outbreak and would like a free consultation about a Listeria lawsuit, please contact our Listeria lawyers. Our Food Safety Team has more experience handling Listeria lawsuits than any other law firm in the country securing some of the largest Listeria settlements in U.S. history including a recent award of $6.4 million for neurologic injury from a contaminated deli product.