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Listeria outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses killed one person, caused a pregnancy loss: CDC

Patriot-News - 11/10/2022

Sixteen people in six states have been sickened by listeria that has been preliminarily linked to deli meats and cheeses.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating.

Of the 14 people “with information available,” the CDC said, one person from Maryland died, one woman lost an unborn child and 13 were hospitalized.

The CDC said the sickened people live in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois, California and Massachusetts. New York has the most cases with seven.

But, the CDC said, the number of people who became sick “is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for listeria.”

It also can take up to four weeks to determine if someone who is sick is part of the outbreak.

“Epidemiologic and laboratory data show that meat and cheese from deli counters contaminated with listeria are making people sick. Investigators are still working to identify any specific products or delis that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain.”

The people who became sick were interviewed, the CDC said. Of the 12 interviewed, the CDC said 11 reported eating sliced meat and cheese from a deli including one in Brooklyn, that the CDC said it does not believe is the source because not everyone shopped there.

“A contaminated food likely introduced the outbreak strain of Listeria into delis in multiple states,” the CDC said.

“Deli meats (cold cuts, lunch meats, hot dogs, and pâtés sold at the deli) and cheeses are known sources of Listeria illnesses. This is because Listeria can easily spread among food on deli countertops, deli slicers, surfaces, and hands. Listeria is a hardy germ that can be difficult to fully remove once it is in the deli. It can survive and grow at cold temperatures in the refrigerator.”

People at higher risk of being sickened by listeria include those 65 and older and those with weakened immune systems.


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