April 13, 2021

CDC: Do Not Eat El Abuelito Cheese For Possible Listeria Contamination

The CDC is joining the FDA in warning the public: do not eat El Abuelito cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. The cheese is linked, through whole genome sequencing testing, to the outbreak strain of Listeria that has sickened ten people in four states. Earlier this month Connecticut officials found the outbreak strain of Listeria in samples of El Abuelito queso fresco cheese that was taken from a store where an ill person bought that cheese. The government says that other El Abuelito cheeses that were made or handled in the same facility as the queso fresco cheese have not been recalled, but officials are concerned that they may be contaminated and could make people sick. Investigators are trying to determine whether or not all cheese products … [Read more...]

History of Soft Cheese Linked Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreaks

With the news that the CDC and FDA have launched an investigation into a possible Hispanic-style soft cheese listeriosis outbreak late last week, the history of soft cheese linked Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks comes into focus. Seven people in four states are sick, including Maryland, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia. This is not the first time a deadly outbreak has been linked to those types of soft and fresh cheeses. These types of cheeses have long been a risk for Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to the CDC. The issue is that many of these soft and fresh cheeses are made with unpasteurized milk. The government estimates that "the risk for listeriosis per serving is estimated to be 50- to 160-fold greater for cheese made from unpasteurized milk than … [Read more...]

Research Finds Most Pregnant Women Don’t Know Listeria Risk in Food

Research conducted in New Zealand has found that 75% of pregnant women don't know about the Listeria risk in some foods. Some foods can be at higher risk for contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which poses a special risk to pregnant women. Pregnant women are ten terms more likely than the general population to contract this infection. And this infection can cause stillbirth, premature labor, miscarriage, and infection in the newborn. Researchers surveyed 205 pregnant women between December 2017 and January 2018. While the average woman got 95% of questions right, only 25% had a perfect score. The potentially problematic foods they missed included hummus, soft and semi soft cheeses, some salads, and baked goods with added cream or custard. In the past few years, … [Read more...]

Massachusetts Counties Hard Hit in Listeria Deli Meat Outbreak

The new multistate Listeria monocytogenes deli meat outbreak announced one week ago has sickened ten people in three states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but several Massachusetts counties have been hard hit. That state alone has seven of the ten cases in three counties. The Massachusetts counties hard hit include Essex County with four cases, Suffolk County with two cases, and one patient in Middlesex County, according to information from the Massachusetts Department of Health. The current outbreak cluster and the cluster of  listeriosis cases from last year's outbreak are not related. The patient age range in Massachusetts is from 60 to 89 years, and five out of the seven cases are female. There is one "common chain" among Massachusetts … [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...]

History of Listeria Outbreaks Sickening Pregnant Women

The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to imported Enoki mushrooms that was just announced has sickened six pregnant women; two of them suffered fetal loss. This is not the first time this has happened; pregnant women are at high risk for serious complications from this infection. Here's a brief history of Listeria outbreaks sickening pregnant women since 2012. In 2012, a Listeria outbreak linked to Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata sickened 22 people in 13 states; 20 people were hospitalized and four died; two of these deaths were related to listeriosis. Nine of these illnesses were related to a pregnancy; three newborns were diagnosed with listeriosis. One fetal loss was reported. The listeriosis outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupe sickened 147 people. Seven … [Read more...]

Enoki Listeria Outbreak Sickens Pregnant Women, 30 Others

The Sun Hong Foods Enoki Listeria outbreak sickens pregnant women and 30 others in 17 states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four people died. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that enoki mushrooms labeled "Product of Korea"are the likely source of this Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (2), California (9), Florida (2), Hawaii (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New Jersey (1),  New York (4), North Carolina (1), Rhode Island (1), Tennessee (1), and Virginia (3). Illness onset dates range from November 23, 2016 to December 3, 2019. The patient age range is from less than 1 to 97. Of 32 people who gave information to the … [Read more...]

How Do You Know if You Have a Listeria Monocytogenes Infection?

Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that can make you seriously ill. Listeria monocytogenes infections are tricky, because the symptoms may not show up until 70 days after a person has been exposed. And the symptoms of this infection are similar to the flu, especially in pregnant women, so diagnosis can be difficult. About 1,600 people contract Listeria infections every year in the United States. About 260 of those patients die. Listeriosis is a reportable illness. That means when a person is diagnosed with a Listeria monocytogenes infection, their doctors must report it to the government. The genetic information about the pathogen that made that person sick is recorded in PulseNet, a nationwide network of laboratories that keep information about pathogens. In fact, … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Lawsuit Refers to Via Christi Hospital Outbreak

The nation's first Blue Bell ice cream Listeria lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas includes details of similarity between a retirement home director in Houston who nearly died of Listeria meningitis and a cluster of five people in Wichita who were striken by listeriosis after eating Blue Bell ice cream while at Via Christi Hospital. All six individuals ate single-serve ice cream products purchased from Blue Bell Creameries Inc. through institutional, or food service, channels. According to a copy of the lawsuit filed by Pritzker Hageman attorneys on behalf of David Philip Shockley, he repeatedly ate single-serve Blue Bell ice cream products while on the job at a 462-apartment continuing care retirement community in Houston. The 31-year-old man with a masters degree in public … [Read more...]

What Scientists Say about Listeria and Pregnancy

Bidart Bros. Listeria caramel apple outbreak was a grim reminder about the special threat listeriosis poses to expecting mothers and their babies. As analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  eleven of the 35 illnesses attributed to the outbreak were pregnancy-related, with one case resulting in a fetal loss. One of the expecting mothers passed the Listeria bacteria to her fetus and the baby was born with an infection that required a month of  treatment in the neo-natal intensive care unit of Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Vanitha Janakiraman, writing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, provided in-depth information about the relationship between Listeria food poisoning and pregnancy. Infection from the pathogen is rare, but 20 more times common in … [Read more...]

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