An outbreak of food poisoning linked to cold cuts and cheese has sickened 16 people, including one who has died, US health officials said Wednesday.
Most were hospitalized and one illness resulted in the loss of a pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The illnesses date back to April of last year with the most recent report dated September 29, the agency said.
Many reported eating meat or cheese from deli counters where researchers detected listeria on open packages of sliced meats and in the environment. The bacteria was found at two NetCost Market locations in New York, but health officials said that’s probably not the only source of the listeria outbreak because some sick people didn’t shop at the store.
The patients were from New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey and California. The death was reported in Maryland, the CDC said.
Eleven of those who got sick are of Eastern European origin or speak Russian, and researchers are trying to figure out why.
NetCost temporarily closed the deli at its store in the Brooklyn borough last year after New York health officials notified the company that three people infected with listeria ate food from there. After a deep cleaning, no listeria was detected. But in September, the outbreak strain was found in the same market.
NetCost did not immediately respond to an email for comment.
Listeria is a persistent germ that can be difficult to get rid of from surfaces and equipment. Symptoms of listeria poisoning include fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea. It is especially dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.