CDC Investigating Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Meat and Cheese

U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials are investigating an outbreak of listeria connected to deli meat and cheese.  (File Photo by Gary C. Caskey/UPI© Gary C. Caskey/UPI)

A CDC Investigation Notice Regarding a Multistate Outbreak of Listeria Infections has been posted:

Key Points:

  • Sixteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from 6 states: California (1), Illinois (2), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (2), New Jersey (1), and New York (7).
  • At least 13 people have been hospitalized. One person got sick during their pregnancy, resulting in pregnancy loss. Additionally, one death has been reported from Maryland.
  • Eleven people are of Eastern European background or speak Russian. Officials are still investigating to understand why this outbreak is disproportionately affecting this population.
  • Interviews with sick people and laboratory findings show that meat and cheese from deli counters contaminated with Listeria are making people sick.
  • Most of the sick people reported eating meat or cheese from deli counters. Five people in New York shopped at NetCost Market, an international grocery store chain, and six people in other states shopped at other delis.
  • The outbreak strain was found in the deli environment and in open packages of sliced deli meats from a NetCost Market location in Brooklyn, New York. The outbreak strain was also found in an open package of sliced salami purchased from a NetCost Market location in Staten Island, New York.
  • Investigators do not believe that NetCost Market delis are the only source of illnesses because some sick people in the outbreak did not shop at a NetCost Market. A contaminated food likely introduced the outbreak strain of Listeria into delis in multiple states.
  • Listeria is a hardy germ that can be difficult to fully remove from deli counters and other food processing facilities. It can easily spread between food and equipment or surfaces.
  • Investigators are still working to identify any specific products or delis that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain.

What People at High Risk for Listeria Illness Should Do:

  • You are at higher risk for severe Listeria illnessif you are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or treatments.
  • If you are at higher risk, do not eat meat or cheese from any deli counter unless it is reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot.
  • Cleanyour refrigerator, containers, and surfaces that may have touched meat or cheese from a deli.
  • Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of severe Listeria illness after eating meat or cheese from a deli.

 About Listeria:

  • Listeria can cause severe illness (known as invasive listeriosis) when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body.
  • Pregnant people typically experience only fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
  • People who are not pregnant may experience headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, in addition to fever and muscle aches.
  • Symptoms of severe illness usually start within two weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria but may start as early as the same day or as late as 10 weeks after.

If you have questions about cases in a particular state, call that state’s health department.


About Carma Henry 20904 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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