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Cheese, Deli Meat and Mushrooms Links to 24 Listeria illnesses


Cheese: As of September 28, 2022, six people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from six states. Sick people’s samples were collected from August 6, 2017, to August 5, 2022. Sick people range in age from 56 to 83 years, with a median age of 78, and 67% are female. Five people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the five people interviewed, four (80%) reported eating brie or camembert cheese. Most people did not remember the brand of the cheese they ate, but one person reported eating Lidl Premium Brand Brie. Old Europe Cheese is the only manufacturer of Lidl Premium Brand Brie.

FDA, with assistance from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, inspected the Old Europe Cheese facility in Michigan and collected samples for testing. WGS showed that the Listeria found in the cooling room is closely related genetically to Listeria from sick people’s samples. This provides more evidence that people likely got sick from eating cheese made by Old Europe Cheese. On September 30, 2022, Old Europe Cheese, Inc. recalled their brie and camembert cheese. The company has also temporarily stopped producing these cheeses. CDC is advising people not to eat, sell, or serve recalled cheese.

Mushrooms: As of November 15, 2022, two people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from two states. Sick people’s samples were collected from October 5, 2022, to October 8, 2022. The two sick people are 30 and 42 years old, and they are both males. Both have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Both sick people reported eating enoki mushrooms or eating at restaurants with menu items containing enoki mushrooms. In November 2021, FDA found Listeria in one sample of enoki mushrooms that they collected at import, as part of the FDA’s strategy to prevent Listeria outbreaks linked to imported enoki mushrooms. These enoki mushrooms were destroyed. The Listeria from this sample is closely related genetically to the Listeria that made the people in this outbreak sick. However, to date, the firm associated with this sample has not been identified as a potential source of enoki mushrooms in this outbreak.

CDC advises people who are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system to not eat raw enoki mushrooms. CDC also advises restaurants to not serve raw enoki mushrooms. Cook enoki mushrooms thoroughly to kill any foodborne germs. Currently, FDA has issued three import alerts that include enoki mushrooms.

Deli Meat: As of November 9, 2022, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from 6 states – California, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey. Sick people’s samples were collected from April 17, 2021, to September 29, 2022. 

Public health officials collect information about the age, ethnicity, and other demographics of sick people, and the types of foods they have eaten, to provide clues that can help identify the source of the outbreak. Sick people range in age from 38 to 92 years, with a median age of 74, and 62% are male. Of 13 people with ethnicity information available, 11 are of Eastern European background or speak Russian. Of 14 people with information available, 13 have been hospitalized. One person got sick during their pregnancy, resulting in pregnancy loss. Additionally, one death has been reported from Maryland.

State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 12 people interviewed, 11 reported eating meat or cheese from deli counters. Among seven sick people in New York, five bought sliced deli meat or cheese from at least one location of NetCost Market, a grocery store chain that sells international foods. Sick people from other states purchased deli meats or cheeses from other delis.

In September 2022, the outbreak strain was found at the same Brooklyn NetCost Market deli; however, the most recent illness with NetCost Market exposure was in October 2021. After a deep cleaning, additional environmental testing did not identify Listeria in the deli. CDC advises people at higher risk of severe Listeria illness to not eat meat or cheese from any deli counter, unless it is reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot.

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $850 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as lettuce, polony, deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.  

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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