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CDC Investigates Listeria Outbreak

04/29/2019

PulseNet has identified eight cases of listeriosis spread among four states extending from November 15th. 2018 through March 4th 2019.  All patients were hospitalized and one fatality occurred in Michigan.  Interviews suggested deli meats and cheeses from different retail locations could have served as vehicles of infection. Investigators identified Listeria monocytogenes in meat not identified as to type, sliced in delis in multiple stores presumably applying whole genome sequencing to establish any relationship among isolates.  As yet, a common supplier has not been identified but investigations are in progress.

The CDC issued the standard warnings suggesting that pregnant women and seniors should be careful in consuming deli meat.  This is patently wishy-washy.  Either susceptible consumers including those with immunosuppression should eat deli meat or they should not; at least until the source is identified and recalled.  Suggestions regarding surveillance in plants and enhanced cleaning of slicers in delis are obviously practical and potentially beneficial.