Outbreak of Listeria Infections Linked to Hard-boiled Eggs
Posted December 27, 2019 at 2:30 PM ET
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods.
- On December 23, 2019, Almark Foods expanded its recallexternal icon to include all hard-boiled eggs produced at its Gainesville, Georgia, facility due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
- This recall includes products sold for foodservice use and products packed in smaller sizes for sale to the public in grocery stores.
- Retail products were sold under more than 30 brand namesexternal icon and include pillow pack, pouch pack, frozen diced, and protein kit egg products. Foodservice products include eggs sold in large pails.
- Almark produces hard-boiled eggs at several facilities. To identify if eggs came from the Gainesville facility, look for the “Best If Used By” code on the packaging of the hard-boiled eggs.
- If the code starts with “G,” do not eat, sell, or serve it.
- The recalled products have “Best If Used By” dates through March 2, 2020.
- A full list of recalled products is available on the FDA websiteexternal icon.
- The following companies who received recalled eggs from Almark Foods have also initiated recalls:
Advice for consumers:
- Do not eat any recalled hard-boiled egg products.
- If you have these products at home, don’t eat them. Throw them away or return them to the store, regardless of where you bought them.
- Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators and freezers where the products were stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.
- If you have products in your home that were purchased from a store or restaurant that contain hard-boiled eggs:
- Ask the store or restaurant where they got their hard-boiled eggs and if they are sourced from the Almark Foods Gainesville, Georgia, facility. If they are sourced from that facility or don’t know where the eggs came from, don’t eat them.
- When in doubt, throw it out.
- If you buy products with hard-boiled eggs, or order or eat items with hard-boiled eggs at a restaurant:
- Before you buy, order, or eat, confirm with the store or restaurant that they do not use hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods at its Gainesville facility.
- If they use hard-boiled eggs from this facility, don’t buy or order the product.
- If they don’t know where their hard-boiled eggs are from, don’t buy or order the product.
Advice for retailers and food service operators:
- Retailers and food service operators should not sell, serve, or use any hard-boiled eggs produced at the Almark Foods Gainesville, Georgia, facility.
- Food processors and manufacturers should not use these eggs to make ready-to-eat foods, such as egg salad, deviled eggs, or salads.
- Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with the eggs or the pail packaging. Listeria can easily spread to other foods and surfaces.
- Seven people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from five states.
- Four hospitalizations have been reported. One death has been reported from Texas.
- Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that bulk hard-boiled eggs from Almark Foods are a likely source of this outbreak.
- On December 23, 2019, Almark Foods expanded its recallexternal icon to include all hard-boiled eggs produced at its Gainesville, Georgia, facility due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The company has temporarily stopped production at this facility.
- The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness.
- CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
- Listeriosis can cause different symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected.
- Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
- People other than pregnant women: Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
- People with invasive listeriosis usually report symptoms starting 1 to 4 weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria; some people have reported symptoms starting as late as 70 days after exposure or as early as the same day of exposure.
- Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.
December 27, 2019
On December 23, 2019, Almark Foods expanded its recallexternal icon to include all hard-boiled eggs produced at its Gainesville, Georgia, facility.
Additionally, FDA found Listeria in an environmental sample taken at the Almark Foods Gainesville, Georgia, processing facility during an FDA inspection conducted in December 2019. WGS showed that the bacteria in the environmental sample is closely related genetically to bacteria from ill people.
The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness. CDC will provide updates when more information is available.