U.S. Listeria Outbreak Linked to Hard-Boiled Eggs: CDC

FRIDAY, Dec. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The source of a listeria outbreak that's sickened seven people in five states (Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas) appears to be hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods of Gainesville, Ga., the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Four people have been hospitalized and a death has been reported in Texas. One illness was reported in a newborn who was infected while the mother was pregnant. The newborn survived.

Laboratory evidence and interviews with patients suggest that bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods are a likely source of the outbreak. The eggs were packaged in plastic pails and sold under various brand names nationwide to food service operators, including grocery stores and restaurants, according to the CDC.

It said the eggs should not be sold, served or used to make other foods, such as egg salad.

The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to the outbreak, the CDC said.

Until more information is available, people should throw away any store-bought hard-boiled eggs or products containing hard-boiled eggs, such as egg salad, the agency advised.

People at high risk for listeria infection include pregnant women and their newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer or on dialysis.

Listeria infection can cause different symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected. Pregnant women typically have fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, listeria infections during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.

Symptoms in people other than pregnant women can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, convulsions, fever and muscle aches, the CDC said.

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