A CDC food safety alert regarding a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections was recently posted:
- 10 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 3 states. All 10 people were hospitalized. One death has been reported from Florida.
- Ill people have reported eating Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto.
- People have reported purchasing both prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters. The investigation is ongoing to determine if there is a specific type of deli meat or common supplier linked to illness.
- CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.
Advice to Consumers and Retailers:
- People who are at higher risk for getting sick with Listeria should avoid eating deli meats, unless heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving.
- Clean: Wash your hands after handling deli meats. Clean refrigerator shelves, kitchen countertops, utensils, and other surfaces that may have come into contact with deli meats.
- Separate: Don’t let juice from deli meats get on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces.
- Chill: Keep factory-sealed, unopened packages of deli meats in the refrigerator for no longer than 2 weeks. Keep opened packages and meat sliced at a local deli in the refrigerator for no longer than 5 days.
- Retailers should follow USDA-FSIS best practices for controlling Listeria contamination in deli areas
- Listeria 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 who are not pregnant may experience symptoms including headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
- People with invasive Listeria infection usually report symptoms starting 1 to 4 weeks after eating contaminated food. Infection is treated with antibiotics.
If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.
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