December 7, 2021

New Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 20; No Food Identified

A new Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has been identified on the FDA’s Core Outbreak Investigation Table. No food has been named, no advisory has been issued, and there are no recalls.

New Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 20; No Food Identified

So far, traceback has been initiated, on-site inspections have begun, and sample collection and analysis are initiated. That may mean that the FDA has an idea what food has caused these illnesses. But we don’t know where the sick people live, their illness onset dates, the age range, or if anyone has been hospitalized.

Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks are usually fairly small. The people who get sickest from this infection are typically the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, and those with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients undergoing treatment. Pregnant women are also quite vulnerable to this infection, suffering miscarriage and stillbirth even though their illness is usually relatively mild.

In the past few years, the case counts of Listeria outbreaks have been small. And in most of these outbreaks, the majority of patients have been hospitalized.

In early 2021, a Listeria outbreak linked to recalled El Abuelito cheeses sickened 13 people in four states. Twelve people were hospitalized and one person died.

Also early in 2021, a deadly listeriosis outbreak sickened 12 people in four states. One person died and all of the patients were hospitalized. The outbreak was linked to deli meats and cheeses, but a brand name or source was not identified.

Last month, a Listeria outbreak linked to Tyson cooked chicken ended after sickening three people. All three were hospitalized, and one person died.

In 2020, a relatively large Listeria monocytogenes outbreak sickened 36 people in 17 states. Four people died and 31 were hospitalized. This outbreak was linked to enoki mushrooms imported from Korea imported by Green Co. LTD. Six of the patients were pregnant; two ended in fetal loss.

Another Listeria outbreak linked to deli meats sickened 11 people in 3 states. One person died and everyone who was sick was hospitalized. Again, no specific brand name, store or processor was named.

Also in 2020, an outbreak linked to Almark shell eggs sickened eight people in five states. Five people were hospitalized and one person died.

Almost any food can be contaminated with Listeria. Previous outbreaks have been linked to raw sprouts, melons, ice cream, raw milk, raw milk cheese, and unrefrigeratedĀ caramel apples.

It’s difficult to protect yourself against this pathogen. But if you are in a high risk group, it’s prudent to avoid products that are at higher risk for Listeria monocytogenes contamination, including soft cheeses, raw milk, raw sprouts, and deli meats and cheeses.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with a Listeria Monocytogenes infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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