A deli meat Listeria outbreak has sickened 10 people, one of whom has died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illnesses, reported among people ranging in age from 40 to 89 years old, occurred in three states: Florida (1), Massachusetts (7) and New York (2). The fatality was reported in Florida.

During interviews with health officials, the people sickened in this outbreak said they ate Italian-style deli meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto in the weeks before they became ill. They bought these meats prepackaged and freshly sliced at deli counters at multiple locations.

Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne bacteria that grows well in cold temperatures. A contaminated package of meat in a deli case could cross-contaminate nearby meats and cheeses, the CDC said in its report.

Deli meats have been linked to previous Listeria outbreaks. In 2019, the CDC announced that it had discovered an outbreak linked to deli meats and cheeses that had been ongoing for three years. That outbreak, which also included 10 illnesses and one fatality, included five states: Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The people sickened in those states reported eating meats and cheese sliced at deli counters in the weeks before they became ill.  Investigators identified the outbreak strain in samples of meat sliced at a deli, and from deli counters in multiple retail locations in New York and Rhode Island. However, health officials said they did not have enough evidence to narrow down which specific product was the source of contamination.

In 2018, the CDC discovered a Listeria outbreak that had been ongoing for two years. That outbreak, linked to Johnston County Hams, sickened four people in two states.

Health officials are currently conducting a traceback investigation to determine if they can pinpoint the specific deli meat that is the source of the outbreak and if there is a common supplier.


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Symptoms of a Listeria infection, called listeriosis, can take as long as 70 days to develop. They include headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches, loss of balance, confusion, and convulsions. Sometimes these symptoms are preceded by nausea, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.

The people sickened in this outbreak were tested for Listeria and got confirmed results on dates ranging from August 6, 2020, to October 3, 2020.  All of them were hospitalized.

The CDC advises that people at elevated risk of developing a Listeria infection including pregnant women, seniors and people with underlying health conditions avoid eating deli meats unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F.

If you are part of this outbreak and would like a free consultation with an experienced Listeria lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman Listeria Legal Team. We have represented clients in every major Listeria outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless we win