Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli-Sliced Meats and Cheeses

deli sandwich

A total of 8 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 4 states (as of April 17, 2019): New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. All 8 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from Michigan.

Evidence indicates that meats and cheeses sliced at deli counters might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and could make people sick. The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from meat sliced at a deli and from deli counters in multiple stores. A single, common supplier of deli products has not been identified.

Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli-Sliced Meats and Cheeses

This outbreak is a reminder that people at higher risk for severe Listeria infection (including pregnant women) should handle deli-sliced meats and cheeses carefully to prevent illness, and these meats should be heated to steaming before consuming to ensure safety. Just toasting meats is not enough to kill listeria.

Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis.

Listeriosis can cause different symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected. Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn. People with invasive listeriosis usually report symptoms starting 1 to 4 weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria; some people have reported symptoms starting as late as 70 days after exposure or as early as the same day of exposure. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.

Click here for tips to avoid listeria during your pregnancy

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