A 2002 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention electron microscope image depicts the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, which causes the food-borne illness listeriosis. Elizabeth White / CDC via the Associated Press
Wednesday, U.S. health officials reported that a food poisoning incident linked to deli meat and cheese has infected 16 individuals, including one fatality.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority were hospitalized, and one infection led to a miscarriage. The FDA stated that the illnesses stretch back to April of last year, with the most recent incident occurring on September 29.
Numerous individuals reported consuming meat or cheese from deli counters where listeria was identified in open containers of sliced meats and in the environment. The infection was discovered at two NetCost Market locations in New York, but health officials believe that this is not the only source of the listeria outbreak because other affected individuals did not buy at the stores.
People from New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey, and California were affected. The CDC stated that the death was reported in Maryland.
Eleven of the sickened individuals are of Eastern European descent or speak Russian, and authorities are attempting to determine why.
Last year, NetCost briefly halted the deli at its store in the borough of Brooklyn after New York health officials informed the company that three persons afflicted with listeria had consumed food from the deli. After a thorough cleaning, no listeria was found. However, the epidemic strain was discovered at the same market in September.
NetCost did not respond promptly to an email requesting comment.
Listeria is a tenacious pathogen that can be difficult to eradicate from surfaces and equipment. Listeria poisoning is characterized by fever, muscle pains, nausea, and diarrhea. The elderly, pregnant women, and those with impaired immune systems are particularly at risk.