A listeria outbreak has sickened at least 16 people has been linked to deli meat and cheese sold at a New York area grocer.
According to the CDC, state and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 12 people interviewed, 11 reported eating meat or cheese from deli counters. Among seven sick people in New York, five bought sliced deli meat or cheese from at least one location of a grocery store chain that sells international foods. Sick people from other states purchased deli meats or cheeses from other delis.
So far, 7 people in New York State have fallen ill. Three people in Maryland, two in Massachusetts, two in Illinois and 1 in New Jersey have all been linked to the same products, according to the CDC.
The CDD at this point has indicated that the purchases might not be limited to just the New York chain and their investigation is ongoing.
The CDC estimates the number of sick between April 17, 2021 and September 29, 2022 could be much higher as many people recover from Listeria without the need for professional medical help.
“Public health officials collect information about the age, ethnicity, and other demographics of sick people, and the types of foods they have eaten, to provide clues that can help identify the source of the outbreak,” the CDC said. “Sick people range in age from 38 to 92 years, with a median age of 74, and 62% are male. Of 13 people with ethnicity information available, 11 are of Eastern European background or speak Russian. Of 14 people with information available, 13 have been hospitalized, including one Maryland resident who died. One person got sick during their pregnancy, resulting in pregnancy loss.”
Whole genome sequencing testing showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food.
“[the market] voluntarily closed the deli temporarily in Brooklyn after New York officials notified them about the sampling results,” the CDC said. “[the market] performed a deep cleaning and then reopened the deli in Brooklyn after further environmental testing did not identify Listeria.”
In September, the same strain of Listeria was found again from the same market, but testing at the market failed to find any evidence of the bacteria there.