Multistate listeria outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses

A multi-state outbreak of listeria linked to deli meats and cheeses has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A multi-state outbreak of listeria linked to deli meats and cheeses has been reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Eight people in several states have been hospitalized with listeria infections, including one person who died, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The CDC says all people who fell ill reported eating different types and brands of deli products, including meats and cheeses. Consumer Reports said one of its own samples of counter-sliced deli meat purchased from a New York City deli contained a similar strain of Listeria. All eight people were hospitalized, including a patient in MI who died, the CDC said in a news release.

Listeria poses a special risk to pregnant women; infection can increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. If the infection spreads to the nervous system, they may also experience a stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that meats and cheeses sliced at deli counters might be contaminated with Listeria and could make people sick, the CDC said.

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Three people were infected in Pennsylvania, according to the CDC.

The link between the outbreak and deli-sliced products was made with information from the two more recent cases, the agency said. Retailers are also reminded to clean and sanitize all deli slicers frequently and other areas where products are prepared, stored or served.

Symptoms can include a fever along with diarrhea, muscle aches, or other gastrointestinal symptoms, and headache. It's also more risky for the very old, young children and newborns, as well as people with immunosuppressive conditions such as leukemia and AIDS, or those being treated by chemotherapy or radiation, which can also suppress the immune system. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection.

These groups of people should not eat lunch meats, cold cuts or other deli meats unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or until they are steaming hot just before serving.

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