Listeria Outbreak has raised fears over the use of many snacks prepared from hard-boiled eggs. According to the reports, this outbreak has affected seven people, leading to the hospitalization of four, and death of one.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified the possible food items that may have led to this outbreak. On the basis of this, Almark Foods have voluntarily recalled its cheesewich snacks.
Additionally, food items packaged at the firm’s Georgia facility are also recalled for further caution. Almark Foods has decided to stop its production until the issue of contamination is settled.
According to the Food Safety and the Inspection Service of the USDA, the latest food product that Almark has voluntarily recalled is its Cheesewich Snacks.
Listeria Monocytogenes Infection
Elderly, pregnant women and newborns are mostly affected by this bacteria. Listeria Monocytogenes can cause a deadly infection in people with a weakened immune system, such as elderly, young children, or those already suffering from a disease.
Though this organism leads to only short-term symptoms like nausea, headache, stiffness, high fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea in healthy adults, still pregnant women may suffer from stillbirths and miscarriages.
Many hard-boiled egg products have been recalled due to the concerns associated with Listeria monocytogenes infection.
These may include products from over thirty different brands, such as Lucerne, Best Choice, 7 Select, Kroger, and Almark and have Best Before Dates through 02-02-2020. The list of food items recalled by Almark Foods is available on the official website of the FDA.
Preventing Listeriosis Outbreaks
Every year, there are almost two to three outbreaks caused by listeria monocytogenes. This microorganism is widespread in a person’s surroundings and isn’t limited to a specific area, making listeria infections quite common.
Most of the time, cheeses and deli meats contaminated by listeria result in listeriosis outbreak. Dr Stanley Deresinski is a physician at Stanford Health Care who had done practice in Infectious diseases.
He said that every year almost 1600 individuals are infected by this bacteria, leading to hospitalization in many cases and death in nearly sixteen percent of these individuals. It can take approximately one to four weeks for the symptoms of listeriosis to appear after a person has eaten food product contaminated with listeria.
Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr Andres Romero, suggests that procedures for food handling should be followed regardless of the fact if there’s a risk of the outbreak or not. Chill, separates, cook, and clean are the four necessary steps taken to make food safe for use.
Cooking all animal foods till they reach a safe internal temperature, washing raw materials and surfaces used for food consumption, drinking pasteurized milk, and prompt refrigeration of ready-to-eat foods can avoid infections caused by listeria.
According to the recommendations provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, deli meats should be heated before consumption. And the leftovers should be placed in the refrigerator within two hours and utilized within a period of a few days.
CDC also states that setting freezer at -18 degree Celsius, and refrigerator at 4 degree Celsius can avoid the risk of contamination.