About Listeria Blog
2020 Listeria Outbreaks
Listeria – Deli Meat
As of November 30, 2020, a total of 11 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from three states.
Listeria samples from ill people were collected from August 6, 2020, to October 30, 2020. Ill people range in age from 40 to 89 years, with a median age of 84 years, and 82% are female. All 11 ill people were hospitalized. One death has been reported from Florida.
Epidemiologic evidence shows that deli meat is a likely source of this outbreak.
State and local public health officials interviewed ill people about the foods they ate in the month before they became ill. Of the 10 people interviewed, all reported eating Italian-style deli meats, such as salami, mortadella, and prosciutto. They reported purchasing prepackaged deli meats and meats sliced at deli counters at various locations.
Investigators are working to identify a specific type of deli meat or a common supplier linked to the illnesses.
Listeria – Enoki Mushrooms
A total of 36 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes were reported from 17 states.
Listeria specimens from ill people were collected from November 23, 2016, to December 13, 2019. Ill people ranged in age from less than 1 to 96 years, with a median age of 67. Fifty-eight percent of ill people were female. Of 33 ill people with information available, 31 hospitalizations were reported. Four deaths were reported from California (2), Hawaii, and New Jersey. Six cases were pregnancy-associated, with two resulting in fetal loss.
Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence showed that enoki mushrooms supplied by Green Co. LTD, located in the Republic of Korea, were the likely source of this outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the month before they became ill. Twelve out of 22 (55%) reported eating mushrooms, including enoki, portobello, white, button, cremini, wood ear, maitake, and oyster.
FDA and state officials collected enoki mushrooms for testing. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development collected enoki mushrooms from a grocery store where an ill person shopped and identified the outbreak strain in two samples. These mushrooms were labeled as “Product of Korea” and were distributed by Sun Hong Foods, Inc. On March 9, 2020, Sun Hong Foods, Inc. recalled enoki mushrooms. The California Department of Public Health collected enoki mushrooms from grocery stores and identified the outbreak strain in one sample. These mushrooms were labeled as “Product of Korea” and were distributed by Guan’s Mushroom Co. On March 23, 2020, Guan’s Mushroom Co. recalled enoki mushrooms. FDA collected samples of enoki mushrooms for testing at import from Green Co. LTD of the Republic of Korea. On April 6, 2020, results showed that two samples yielded the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. As a result, on April 7, 2020, FDA placed Green Co. LTD on Import Alert and H&C Foods Inc. recalled enoki mushrooms supplied by Green Co. LTD.
On March 18, 2020, the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety published its investigation findings and steps it will take to prevent future illnesses. It found Listeria monocytogenes in enoki mushrooms produced by two firms in the Republic of Korea.