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Cantaloupe Listeria Outbreak Deadliest In A Decade

With as many as 16 people reportedly dead from potentially contaminated Colorado cantaloupes, the ongoing, multi-state, Listeria monocytogenes outbreak has become the deadliest in over 10 years.

At last count, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 72 illnesses, including 13 deaths, which are being connected to the contaminated produce, said The Associated Press (AP). Another three deaths are under investigation by state and local officials, the AP added. The figures were released yesterday, said the AP, and included new confirmation on 5 additional deaths in Kansas (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), and Texas (2).
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$1.1 MIllion Judgement Awarded in Sangar Listeria Death Lawsuit

The family of an 81-year-old Texas man who died from a Listeria infection was awarded a $1.1 million default judgment against Sangar Fresh Cut Produce, reported the Houston Chronicle. In 2010, Hermillo Castellano was one of five deaths in a Listeria outbreak caused by cut celery produced by the company.

On Tuesday, State District Judge Barbara Nellermoe ruled in favor of Castellano’s family after Sangar failed to appear in court. (more…)

Hash Browns Recalled for Listeria

Giant Eagle, a grocery store chain based in Pennsylvania is recalling frozen hash browns because there is a chance they may be contaminated with Listeria.

This recall involves Giant Eagle and Food Club brand frozen loose hash browns. According to the recall notice, the independent and unrelated manufacturer of the hash browns has been informed of the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in products made in the same facility as the recalled items. (more…)

Associated Grocers of Main Recalls Ham Products for Listeria

Associated Grocers of Maine is recalling 312 lbs of ham products because of possible Listeria contamination. The recalled ham products were imported to the U.S. from Canada.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the recall involves the following. (more…)

Beef Brisket Recalled for Listeria

A Texas company is recalling beef brisket because of possible Listeria contamination.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the following product is subject to this recall: (more…)

Schaller & Weber Products Recalled Over Listeria Concerns

Schaller & Weber (Schaller Mfg. Corp. of Long Island City, NY) has recalled duck leg confit and kolbase sausage products because of listeria worries.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA),no illnesses have been associated any of the recalled products.  However, consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.  According to the USDA, no illnesses have been attributed to either of these recalled products. (more…)

Another Listeria Recall

Another company is recalling a food product over food poisoning scare.  Fresca Italia of Brisbane, California is recalling Burrata as a result of a survey sampling conducted by the California Department of Food & Agriculture. The agency’s survey revealed that Fresca Italia’s Burrata contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning generated by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and is dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, those with chronic medical conditions, people with HIV, or those who are undergoing chemotherapy. Most people experience mild flu-like symptoms—fever, muscle aches, nausea, or diarrhea. In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions. In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage or stillbirth. Listeria lives in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food and can easily contaminate dairy and beef products; Listeria thrives in cold environments. (more…)

Gourmet Boutique Recalls More Meat Products for Listeria

Gourmet Boutique, a New York company that makes fresh and frozen meat products, has recalled 268,000 pounds of meat because of possible listeria contamination. This is the second such recall for Gourmet Boutique this year, which recalled anothery 7,000 pounds of products sent to stores in 10 states over another possible listeria contamination in March.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has deemed the Gourmet Boutique recall a Class I alert, which carries the highest priority and is only issued when there is a “reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.” (more…)

Listeria from Whittier Farms Milk Implicated in Fifth Case of Listeriosis

A fifth case of listeriosis in Massachusetts has been tied to Whittier Farms Milk, and officials there fear that the listeria outbreak is not over yet. Already, listeria from Whittier Farms Milk has killed three people in Massachusetts. While Massachusetts health officials are hoping that the worst has passed, the long incubation period of listeria bacteria makes it possible that more people could become ill from listeria-tainted Whittier Farms Milk.

The Massachusett Health Department recently established a possible link between Whittier Farms Milk and a fifth case in the outbreak. The new suspected case involves a 31-year-old pregnant woman who fell ill in September after drinking milk from Whittier Farms. State health officials said the woman and her baby are doing well.

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Listeria in Whittier Farms Milk Kills Two in Massachusetts, Sickens Two Others

Listeria tainted milk produced by Central Massachusetts’ Whittier Farms is the likely source of a listeriosis outbreak in that state, killing two elderly men and sickening two others.   Whittier has halted production and alerted its customers.  Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning especially dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, and those with chronic medical conditions.  Investigators have been unable to pinpoint the exact listeria contamination source in the production process; however, samples tested positive for listeria, said Dr. Alfred DeMaria, the state’s director of communicable disease control.  DeMaria believes milk was tainted following pasteurization, perhaps when flavoring was added or during bottling.  Milk is sold under the names Whittier, Schultz, Balance Rock, Spring Brook, and Maple.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2,500 people become seriously ill with listeriosis annually; 500 result in death.  In Massachusetts, about 25 cases are identified yearly, but DeMaria said those represent only a fraction since most people experience only mild flu like symptoms—fever, muscle aches, nausea, or diarrhea—never reporting them.  In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions.  Listeria lives in soil and water and can easily contaminate dairy and beef products; because listeria thrives in cold, milk is an ideal environment.

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