Italian-style meats connected to the outbreak include salami, mortadella, and prosciutto.

By Kelly Vaughan
October 27, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that a multi-state Listeria outbreak linked to deli meats that has sickened nine people and killed one across three states including Florida, Massachusetts, and New York. Those who were hospitalized reported eating Italian-style deli meats such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto, however the CDC has not yet identified a single supplier or store as the source.

Deli meat
Credit: GoodLifeStudio/Getty Images

The average age of those who were hospitalized is 81 and most were female. According to the CDC, anyone who is pregnant, aged 65 years or older, or has a weakened immune system is at a higher risk for getting sick from Listeria monocytogenes. At this time, the CDC is recommending consumers avoid eating deli meats, unless they are heated or cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F, which can kill off Listeria bacteria.

To prevent yourself from getting sick, wash your hands after handling deli meats and thoroughly clean and disinfect countertops, utensils, and other surfaces that have come in contact with deli meat. Be sure to store your meats properly in the refrigerator and keep factory-sealed, unopened packages of deli meats in the refrigerator for no more than two weeks.

Those with invasive listeriosis usually report symptoms between one and four weeks after eating food contaminated with Listeria. Symptoms of Listeria include fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle aches, loss of balance, confusion, and a stiff neck. If you recently ate deli meat and think that you're experiencing symptoms of Listeria infection, call your healthcare provider immediately. Monitor the CDC's Listeria page for updates on the outbreak.


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