The CDC, USDA, and FDA are currently investigating a four-state outbreak of Listeria. Eight people have currently been hospitalized, and one person in Michigan has died. The outbreak is active in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. According to a notice from the CDC, “Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that meats and cheeses sliced at deli counters might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and could make people sick.”
People affected by the outbreak have each eaten different types and brands of deli meats and cheeses in various locations, and a single supplier has not yet been identified.
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The CDC is not recommending that retailers stop selling deli products or that consumers avoid eating deli-sliced meat or cheese. However, retailers should make sure to clean deli slicers and areas where products are stored, prepared, or served to customers to avoid cross-contamination.
Those with higher risk for severe Listeria infection—such as pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems—should consider avoiding any deli products, or heating them to an internal temperature of 165 degrees (or until steaming hot) to kill listeriosis.
Listeria symptoms are flu-like and include fatigue, stiff neck, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, and muscle aches. If you believe you’ve consumed affected deli products, and/or are experiencing these signs and symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and let them know immediately.
This outbreak is still under investigation. We will update this story as soon as more information becomes available.
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