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Updated March 17, 1999
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Update: Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis

During this ongoing investigation, approximately 100 illnesses caused by a rare strain of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, serotype 4b, have been reported to CDC by 22 states. Those states reporting cases include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia. A total of 21 deaths have been reported; 15 adults and 6 miscarriages/stillbirths. Reported illness onset dates were during August 2, 1998-February 8, 1999. CDC and state and local health departments have identified the vehicle for transmission as hot dogs and possibly deli meats produced under many brand names by one manufacturer.

On December 22, the manufacturer, Bil Mar Foods, voluntarily recalled specific production lots of hot dogs and deli meats that might be contaminated. CDC later isolated the outbreak strain of L. monocytogenes from an opened and a previously unopened package of hot dogs manufactured at the company's plant in Zeeland, Michigan. The number of illnesses caused by the outbreak strain has decreased dramatically following the recall.

Recalled products bear the establishment numbers EST P261 or EST 6911. The establishment number appears on the outer edge of all packages. The affected products included hot dogs and deli meats with the brand names Ball Park, Bil Mar, Bryan Bunsize, Bryan 3-lb Club Pack, Grillmaster, Hygrade, Mr. Turkey, Sara Lee Deli Meat, and Sara Lee Home Roast brands. Institutions may have received recalled product under other brand names. Packages for the above brand names that carry other establishment numbers are not affected by the recall. Other Sara Lee products that are not meat also are not affected.

Click on this link for more information on Listeriosis:

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