Recent Listeria Outbreaks

Alexis Caban, Reporter

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The CDC and public health officials have put out a food safety alert to investigate a countrywide outbreak of listeria in ready-to-eat deli ham. Listeria is a foodborne disease that contaminates food and drinks and it can also be known as a type of food poisoning with the symptoms of muscle aches, fever, nausea and flu like symptoms. There have been many documented reports of this type of outbreak happening before and have caused supermarkets to withdraw and recall certain foods such as specific ice cream brands, certain brands of dinner rolls or biscuits.

This outbreak was believed to be caused by a deli ham company called Johnston County Hams Inc. and is creating a chain reaction of other ham sellers to recall their products. Through the areas of North Carolina and Virginia there are reported to be four people infected with the disease and one death to be acknowledged also in Virginia. The diseased people were between the ages 70 and 81, two of them being female.

Listeria Contamination

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The company’s product was being served at a retirement living facility and is believed to be the main cause of the spread of disease. This disease should not be taken lightly, in 2011 according to the about-listeria website, ¨A Listeria outbreak traced to contaminated cantaloupes sickened at least 146 persons and lead to 142 hospitalizations and 33 deaths.¨ This means that 321 people were affected by something that could have been easily avoided if found earlier. This case also reached over 28 states showing how wide this contamination can spread. Listeria can also be extremely harmful for pregnant women, causing miscarriages and stillbirths.

To avid risk of getting Listeria from any deli meat you currently have, cooking the meat thoroughly at 165 degrees will kill the bacteria. Protecting yourself and taking all the precautions to avoid this disease should be taken until the cause of it can be found and taken care of.

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Recent Listeria Outbreaks