June 10, 2023

Deadly Listeria Deli Meat Outbreak Ends With 16 Sick

The deadly Netcost Listeria deli meat and cheese outbreak has finally ended after 4-1/2 months with no update, with 16 people in six states sick. Thirteen people were hospitalized because they were so ill.

Deadly Listeria Deli Meat Outbreak Ends With 16 Sick

The case count by state is: California (1), Illinois (2), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (2), New Jersey (1), and New York (7). This case count has not changed since the outbreak was first announced on November 9, 2022. The patient age range is from 38 to 92 years. Sick people’s samples were collected from April 17, 2021 to September 29, 2022. Of 14 people who gave information about their illnesses to officials, 13 were hospitalized. One death was reported from Maryland, and there was one pregnancy loss.

Of 12 people interviewed, 11 said they ate meat or cheese from deli counters. Among seven people who live in New York, five bought sliced deli meat or cheese from at least one location of NetCost Market, a grocery store chain that sells international foods. But sick people in other states bought deli meats or cheeses from other delis.

Whole genome sequencing showed that patient samples were closely related genetically, which means they likely got sick from eating the same food. In 2021, officials in New York found the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes in environmental samples from a NetCost Market deli in Brooklyn, several opened packages of mortadella and ham that were sliced at that same deli, and in sliced salami that a patient bought from a NetCost Market deli on Staten Island.

Even with all that information, a single deli or food source was not identified in this outbreak. Because Listeria monocytogenes spreads easily between food and the deli environment, and it can live for a long time in deli display cases and on equipment, it can be difficult to find the specific source of outbreaks linked to these products.

If you fall into a high risk group for serious complications from food poisoning, you should think about avoiding deli meats and soft cheeses unless they are heated to 165°F.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a food poisoning infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores and food processors, and families in wrongful death cases.

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