As of January 28, 2021, a total of 12 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from four states – Louisana, New York, Massachusetts and Florida. The CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) reported that they investigated a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections.
People infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes, by state of residence, as of January 26, 2021 (n=12)
Listeria samples from ill people were collected from August 6, 2020, to October 30, 2020. Ill people ranged in age from 40 to 89 years, with a median age of 81 years, 83% are female. All 12 ill people were hospitalized. One death has been reported from Florida.
Epidemiologic evidence shows that deli meat was the likely source of this outbreak.
State and local public health officials interviewed ill people about the foods they ate in the month before they became ill. Of the eleven people interviewed, all reported eating Italian-style deli meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto. They reported purchasing prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters at various locations.
The USDA-FSIS and state officials investigated this outbreak by collecting samples from stores where the ill purchased deli meat. After reviewing the data collected, they were unable to identify a common supplier of the meat. In addition, they tested the deli meat that the ill people reported eating. Again they were not able to positively identify a specific deli meat that caused the outbreak or a common supplier of the meat.
As of January 28, 2021, this outbreak is over and the investigation is complete.
Listeria bacteria can spread easily to other foods and surfaces. The bacteria in a contaminated deli product may spread to other deli meats and cheeses in shared display cases or equipment at deli counters. A traceback investigation is ongoing to determine if there is a specific type of deli meat or a common supplier linked to illness.
What to know about Listeria?
People who are higher risk of getting sick from Listeria should avoid eating deli meats, unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving.
Symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes usually begin one to four weeks after eating the contaminated food. However, those who become ill have reported symptoms as early as one to seventy days after consuming the tainted food.
What are symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes?
- Muscle ache
- Nausea or diarrhea
What are the symptoms if the infection spreads to the nervous system?
- Stiff neck
- Loss of balance
Pregnant women experience mild, flu-like symptoms. However, Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, infection of the newborn, or stillbirth.
The Marler Clark Listeria lawyers have unmatched experience representing victims of Listeria. Our Listeria lawyers have represented thousands of victims of notable Listeria outbreaks such as the 2011 Jensen Farms Listeria outbreak where over 33 people died, the 2010 Sangar Fresh Cut Produce Listeria outbreak, the 2007 Whittier Farms Listeria outbreak, the 2012 Marte brand Fescolina ricotta salata cheese Listeria outbreak, the 2016 Dole Lettuce Listeria outbreak and the 2017 Vulto Creamery Listeria outbreak. We are presently assisting in a Listeria outbreak in South Africa that sickened over 1,000 and killed over 200.