May 28, 2024

Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak in Western Washington

A deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in western Washington state has sickened five patients, according to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Officials from that department are working with the Washington State Department of Health and the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department to investigate this outbreak. All of the patients were hospitalized and three have died. All the cases were patients with weakened immune systems who were in their 60s or 70s.

Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak in Western Washington

Four of the patients are in Pierce county, and one is in Thurston county. Public health officials are interviewing patients or their families to try to identify common exposures. No food or common exposure has been identified yet.

People who are most at risk for serious complications from a listeriosis infection include the very young, anyone over the age of 65, people with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses. Anyone in those groups should avoid certain foods to reduce their risk of contracting this infection.

Avoid unpasteurized or raw milk or food made from that milk. Always thoroughly cook raw meat to safe final internal temperatures. Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating. Avoid cross-contamination by keeping uncooked meats and poultry away from foods that are eaten uncooked.

Do not eat cheeses made from unpasteurized milk and avoid soft cheeses such queso fresco and brie. Do not eat deli meats, unheated hot dogs, or lunch meats and avoid refrigerated pates or meat spreads. Premade deli salads like potato or coleslaw or chicken salad can also be risky.

As always, refrigerate leftovers promptly and reheat leftovers foods to 165°F before eating. And wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing food and before eating.

Symptoms of listeriosis can take up to 70 days to manifest, although most people get sick within a couple of weeks after eating food contaminated with this pathogen. Symptoms usually begin with nausea and diarrhea, and then patients suffer from severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, and muscle stiffness.

If you have experienced those symptoms and live in that area, see your doctor. You may be  part of this deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in western Washington state.

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, restaurants, and food processors, and families in wrongful death cases.

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