CDC investigating Multistate Outbreak of Listeria Infections Linked to Deli Meats
For Immediate Release: Friday, October 23, 2020
Contact: Media Relations
A CDC food safety alert regarding a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections has been posted:
- 10 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 3 states. All 10 people were hospitalized. One death has been reported from Florida.
- Ill people have reported eating Italian-style meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto.
- People have reported purchasing both prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters. The investigation is ongoing to determine if there is a specific type of deli meat or common supplier linked to illness.
- CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.
Advice to Consumers and Retailers:
- People who are at higher risk for getting sick with Listeria should avoid eating deli meats, unless heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving.
- Clean: Wash your hands after handling deli meats. Clean refrigerator shelves, kitchen countertops, utensils, and other surfaces that may have come into contact with deli meats.
- Separate: Don’t let juice from deli meats get on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces.
- Chill: Keep factory-sealed, unopened packages of deli meats in the refrigerator for no longer than 2 weeks. Keep opened packages and meat sliced at a local deli in the refrigerator for no longer than 5 days.
- Retailers should follow USDA-FSIS best practices for controlling Listeria contamination in deli areas
- Listeria 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 who are not pregnant may experience symptoms including headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
- People with invasive Listeria infection usually report symptoms starting 1 to 4 weeks after eating contaminated food. Infection is treated with antibiotics.
If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.