December 19, 2020

Deli Meat Listeria Outbreak is Number Ten in Top Outbreaks of 2020

During this strange, pandemic-plagued year, there were exactly ten multistate food poisoning outbreaks to fill out our end of the year Top 10 list. Four of the outbreaks are still going on, and three are not linked to any particular food source yet. The Number 10 food poisoning outbreak for 2020 is the ongoing deli meat Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. This outbreak has sickened 11 people in 3 states. The case count by state is: Florida (1), Massachusetts (7), and New York (3). One person who lived in Florida has sadly died. The patient age range is from 4o to 89 years. All of those sickened have been hospitalized. Officials say that deli meat is the likely source of this outbreak, since all ten people interviewed for the investigation said they ate Italian-style deli meats, such … [Read more...]

Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Deli Meat Outbreak Updated

The deadly Listeria monocytogenes deli meat outbreak has grown to include one more patient, according to an update by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One death has sadly been reported from Florida. The last update about this outbreak was posted on October 23, 2020. The patient case count by state is: Florida (1), Massachusetts (7), and New York (3). The newly diagnosed patient lives in New York. The patient age range is from 40 t0 89 years. And the illness onset dates range from August 6, 2020 to October 30, 2020. Epidemiologic evidence indicates that deli meat is a likely source of this outback. No specific type of deli meat, any store, or a common supplier has been linked to these illnesses yet. Public health officials interviewed 10 ill patients about … [Read more...]

Most Listeria Cases Are in Massachusetts in Deli Meat Listeria Outbreak

Most Listeria cases are in Massachusetts in the deli meat Listeria monocytogenes outbreak announced last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All ten patients have been hospitalized, and one person, who  lived in Florida, has died. Seven people who live in Massachusetts were sickened in this outbreak. The patients who gave information to investigators said that they ate Italian-style meats, such as mortadella, salami, and prosciutto before they got sick. They purchased both prepackaged deli meats  and meats that were sliced at the counter. Officials do not yet know if there is a specific meat or common supplier that is linked to these illnesses. Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to try to find patients who have been sickened with … [Read more...]

History of Meat and Cheese Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreaks

There is a new deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that is linked to deli meats and cheeses. Ten people are sick in three states, including Florida, Massachusetts, and New York, and one person who lived in Florida has died. All ten patients were hospitalized. While people at high risk for serious complications of food poisoning are warned to stay away from deli meats and cheeses, how often are outbreaks linked to those products? The issue is usually one of cross-contamination. If there is Listeria monocytogenes contamination in a deli, the pathogen can spread via slicing machines. One this pathogen is established, it can resist cleaning. These outbreaks don't happen often, and each one doesn't sicken many people, but those who do get sick are usually hospitalized. This is a … [Read more...]

Deli Meat Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Sickens 10 in 3 States

A deli meat Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has sickened 10 people in three states, according to a notice posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Epidemiologic evidence shows that deli meat is a likely source of this outbreak. The case count by state is: Florida (1), Massachusetts (7), and New York (2). All ten patients have been hospitalized. One person who lived in Florida has sadly died. Illness onset dates range from August 6, 2020 to October 3, 2020. The patient age range is from 40 to 89 years. Nine of the patients were interviewed by investigators. All of them said that they ate Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto, before they got sick. They bought prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters at different … [Read more...]

Listeria Monocytogenes Deli Meats and Cheese Outbreak Ends

The Listeria monocytogenes deli meats and cheeses outbreak is over after sickening 10 people in 5 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All 10 people were hospitalized. One person who lived in Michigan died. The patient case count by state is: Massachusetts (1), Michigan (2), New Jersey (2), New York (2), and Pennsylvania (3). The illness onset dates ranged from November 13, 2016 to June 20, 2019. Ill persons ranged in age from 40 to 88 years. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence found that deli-sliced meats and cheese might have been contaminated with Listeria bacteria and made people sick. Of the eight people interviewed, 63% said they ate products sliced at a deli counter, including meats and cheeses. There was limited information about … [Read more...]

Protect Yourself Against Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Meat Cheese

A deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to unnamed deli meats and cheeses has sickened at least eight people in four states. All eight people were hospitalized. And, sadly, one person in Michigan died. Can you protect yourself and your family against this illness? This pathogen does not cause many outbreaks in the U.S., since it sickens about 2,600 people every year. Compared to Salmonella, which sickens 1,200,000 people every year in this country, it may seem like this pathogen isn't as dangerous. But that perception is wrong. Listeria monocytogenes causes serious illness and death in this country every year.  In fact, Listeria infections are the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the U.S. One of the issues with this pathogen is that the population … [Read more...]

Why Are Deli Sliced Products Vulnerable to Listeria Monocytogenes?

The deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to deli sliced meats and cheeses that was announced yesterday by the CDC has sickened eight people and one Michigan resident has died. For years, Food Poisoning Bulletin has told you about dozens of recalls of deli items for possible Listeria contamination. Why are these deli sliced products vulnerable to Listeria? Listeria monocytogenes is a very persistent and strong pathogen. It is found in the air, water, soil, animals, and plant material. Once it has been introduced into a facility, especially a moist and cool environment, it can become established and be very difficult to get rid of. The pathogen can hide in floor cracks, grease traps, air vents, in machines and surfaces that are difficult to clean, on food preparation … [Read more...]

Deadly Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreak Linked to Deli Meats and Cheeses

A deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to deli sliced meats and cheeses has just been announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Eight people are sick in four states; one person who lived in Michigan has died. All eight patients have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so serious. The patient case count by state is: Michigan (2), New Jersey (1), New York (2), and Pennsylvania (3). Illness onset dates range from November 13, 2016 to March 4, 2019. The patient age range is from 40 to 88 years. It's unusual that illnesses that occurred more than 2 years ago are only now being announced in an outbreak, but this has happened before in Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks; most notably in the Blue Bell ice cream outbreak. Investigators use … [Read more...]

USDA Says Deli Listeria Pilot Project Working Well

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has released their second quarter report of a year-long pilot program that assesses whether retailers are using the government's recommendations to address Listeria monocytogenes contamination in their deli departments. The program started in January 2016. The report states that more retail delis are following recommendations. Listeria monocytogenes contamination is a serious issue with deli products, especially sliced meats and cheeses. There have been several outbreaks in the past few years linked to these products, particularly soft cheeses. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in ready-to-eat foods because this infection can be so devastating, and because there is no kill step before the consumer eats … [Read more...]

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