Deadly Listeria Outbreak Warning Includes Louisiana
A national Listeria outbreak is linked to deli meat and cheese according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This warning includes Louisiana. But no one from Louisiana has gotten sick.
Who Is at Higher Risk?
The CDC says “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 fall into any of these groups, you are urged not to eat cheese or meat from any deli counter unless it is heated to at least 165 degrees.
How Many People Have Been Impacted?
This warning includes cold cuts, lunch meats, hot dogs, and pates sold at deli counters. Cheeses sold at these deli counters are also included. There is serious concern because Listeria can spread at several spots in a deli including the slicer and the countertop. Experts are highly concerned about this issue because listeria can survive and even grow at cold temperatures in the deli fridge.
Investigators have not been able to point to any single food item as the source of this latest outbreak.
What Should You Do?
If you have any of these products purchased from any deli, you should probably clean it out of your refrigerator. Call your doctor asap if you have any symptoms of listeria illnesses which could include fever, diarrhea, muscle aches, headaches and more. Symptoms typically start within two weeks of eating foods contaminated with Listeria.
What Businesses Should Do
Follow USDA best practices for controlling Listeria contamination in all deli areas in your business.