Death, Miscarriage, Sickness Linked To New York Meat, Cheese
Meat and cheese sold across New York State have led to one death, one miscarriage and many hospitalizations.
The CDC is investigating an outbreak of Listeria that's left one person dead and over a dozen others hospitalized.
Listeria Outbreak In New York
The CDC knows of 16 cases of listeria linked to deli meat and cheeses that have been confirmed over six states, including New York.
"You are at higher risk for severe Listeria illness if you are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or treatments. If you are in any of these groups, 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," the CDC states.
At least seven Empire State residents have gotten sick, but officials think that number is much higher. The true number is likely much higher because some people recover without needing medical care or getting tested for Listeria.
Source of Outbreak
"Deli meats and cheeses are known sources of Listeria illnesses. This is because Listeria can easily spread among food on deli countertops, deli slicers, surfaces, and hands. Listeria is a hardy germ that can be difficult to fully remove once it is in the deli. It can survive and grow at cold temperatures in the refrigerator," the CDC warns.
The CDC has identified the source of the outbreak as deli meat and cheese purchased at deli counters, though it's unclear what deli meat and cheese is causing the outbreak. The CDC explains it's hard to pinpoint the source.
It is difficult for investigators to identify a single food as the source of outbreaks linked to deli meats and cheeses. This is because Listeria spreads easily between food and the deli environment and can persist for a long time in deli display cases and on equipment. A contaminated food likely introduced the outbreak strain of Listeria into delis in multiple states. Investigators are working to identify any specific products or delis that may be contaminated with the outbreak strain.
13 Hospitalized, 1 Dead, 1 Miscarriage
As of this writing, at least 16 people have gotten sick nationwide. 13 have been hospitalized, including one Maryland resident who died. One woman who got sick during their pregnancy had a miscarriage, according to the CDC.
Listeria can cause severe illness when the bacteria spread beyond the gut to other parts of the body, according to the CDC.
Almost all severe illnesses from Listeria result in hospitalizations and sometimes death, officials say.
Pregnant people and their newborns, adults 65 years or older, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness.
Other people can be infected with Listeria, but they usually get mild food poisoning symptoms, like diarrhea and fever, and usually recover without treatment.