Spain’s largest ever Listeria outbreak is over according to authorities with no new infections reported in the last 20 days.

La Consejería de Salud y Familias ended the listeriosis alert, which was started in mid-August, after confirming the risk of new infections was minimal and implicated products were not still being distributed. The incubation period of listeriosis, which can be up to seventy days, is about to expire.

The agency will maintain usual surveillance for a mandatory notifiable disease such as listeriosis.

In the space of two months, the outbreak from “La Mecha” brand chilled roasted pork meat produced by Magrudis caused three deaths in elderly people and five abortions. More than 200 cases were declared, of which 176 correspond to the same strain found in Magrudis products and 28 are pending analysis. Most were registered in Seville but people also fell sick in Cádiz, Granada, Huelva, and Malaga.

A total of 57 percent were women, with an average age of 45.5 years and the average age in men was 50 years. Almost 40 confirmed cases were found in pregnant women. Almost 80 percent of confirmed cases have had an incubation period of three days or shorter.

Four people are still in hospital compared to August 22, when the hospitalization peak was reached with 125 patients. There are no pregnant women affected in Andalusian hospitals or any patients in intensive care units.

High survival rate

The outbreak was reported by Spanish authorities to the World Health Organization, via the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) in late August.

Graph showing the mortality rate in past Listeria outbreaks

The Minister of Health and Families, Jesús Aguirre, said that in the largest outbreak of listeriosis in Europe, the survival rate exceeds other similar incidents.

“In Andalusia, survival has been 98.6 percent, while in the United States outbreak it was 78 percent and in South Africa outbreak 73 percent,” he said.

The 2017-18 Listeria outbreak in South Africa affected 1,060 people with 216 deaths and was traced to polony made by Enterprise Foods, owned by Tiger Brands. The 2011 outbreak in the U.S. affected 147 people in 28 states with 33 deaths and was linked to whole cantaloupes from Jensen Farms.

More than 1,800 establishments have been inspected to verify the withdrawal of more than 8,000 kilograms of meat. The strain involved was characterized as serovar IVb, ST-388, CC388, CT-8466.

Most affected products from Magrudis were distributed in Andalusia, although Extremadura, Madrid, Castilla y León, and Castilla-La Mancha also received small quantities, according to the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare (MSCBS). They were not sent outside Spain. Some had a shelf life of up to three months.

French authorities notified a confirmed case in an English citizen, diagnosed in France on August 16 and with a history of consuming cold pork in Seville on August 13. WHO officials had warned about the high number of tourists to Spain during the summer months meaning international travelers could have been exposed while the product was in the market.

La Consejería de Salud y Familias has created a group to coordinate alerts related to food safety that will be responsible for guiding the design of a new control plan against Listeria. An international scientific meeting to analyze the management of the food crisis will be held in the coming months.

Grand Strand Sandwich is recalling Lunch Box Chicken Salad Fresh Wedges with sell by 10/29/19 to 10/08/19, Lunch Box Chicken Salad Frozen Wedges with a julian date of , Fresh and Local Chicken Salad Croissants sell by date of 10/10/19 and 9/26/19 and due to a potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, a Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

On October 3, 2019 the firm was notified by Star foods aka Mrs. Stratton’s that the chicken salad they make for Grand Strand Sandwich Company, Inc has chicken in it which is involved in a recall. Tip Top Poultry, Inc., initiated a recall and is an ingredient provider to Star Food who makes Grand Strand Sandwich Company’s Chicken Salad.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

Products affected are:

Product

Size

UPC

Sell By /Julian Dates

Lunch Box Chicken Salad Fresh Wedge 4.5 oz package 0 67068 12105 4 Sell by: 10/29/19 10/25/19
10/18/19 10/15/19 10/11/19
10/08/19
Fresh and Local Chicken Salad Croissants 5 oz package 0 67068 13105 3 Sell By
9/19/19
9/24/19
9/26/19
10/1/19
10/3/19
10/10/19
Lunch Box Chicken Salad Frozen Wedge 4.5oz package 0 67068 12105 4 Julian Date 26119

The products were distributed between September 4, 2019 until October 2, 2019. These products were packaged in clear plastic and sold primarily in convenience stores and vending machines located in the States of: North Carolina and South Carolina.

CDC, several states, and federal partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. This investigation is ongoing and has not identified a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain as the source of infections.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Listeria bacteria isolated from ill people by using a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these sequences that are used to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

As of August 23, 2019, a total of 24 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes has been reported from 13 states.

Listeria specimens were collected from ill people from July 20, 2017, to August 1, 2019. Ill people range in age from 35 to 92 years, with a median age of 72. Sixty-three percent of ill people are female. Of 23 ill people with information available, 22 hospitalizations have been reported. Two deaths have been reported.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is also investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections in several Canadian provinces linked to cooked diced chicken. Whole genome sequencing showed that the type of Listeria making people sick in Canada is closely related genetically to the Listeria making people sick in the United States.

This investigation is ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections in the United States. State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures they had before their illness started. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Butter produced by the Fresno State Creamery and sold mostly through the university’s Gibson Farm Market is being voluntarily recalled because of possible contamination of a bacteria called listeria monocytogenes.

The recall includes 15-ounce tubs of the “regular” butter spread stamped with the product code 249 and a sell-by date of either “02/01/20” or “08/01/20,” the university reported Wednesday afternoon. Forty containers of the butter were sold at the farm market at the college, and one additional tub was sold at another site.

The university is asking customers who bought the butter product at the Gibson Farm Market to return products with the affected code and sell-by states to the store for a refund. So far, no illness have been reported from consuming the product, but the creamery is recalling the butter voluntarily as a precaution.

According to Spanish health official illness have reached 204 with at least three deaths.  In Andalusia, in southern Spain has reported the bulk of the cases with 197, with most of the cases in this community reported from Seville (162).

Of the patients confirmed in Andalusia, 58 percent presented symptoms compatible with acute gastroenteritis, 47% presented with fever, 10% (19) developed meningeal forms and four patients had sepsis.

Three fatalities have been reported to date–two people over 70 and a person over 90 years old.

4 laboratory confirmed cases have been registered (1 in Aragón, 1 in Castilla y León, 1 in Extremadura and 1 pregnant woman of 8 weeks in Madrid who lost the baby) and 3 cases confirmed by epidemiological link (1 in Extremadura and 2 in Aragon).

In addition, 66 probable cases and 58 suspects have been reported in Aragón, Asturias, Canary Islands, Castile and León, Castilla La Mancha, Catalonia, Community Valenciana, Extremadura, Madrid and Melilla.

A UK citizen identified in France is suspected to be associated with the same outbreak.

The implicated food source is roasted pork meat, commercialized under the brand ‘La Mechá’, produced by a company in Seville, Spain. The company has recalled all products manufactured since May 2019 and discontinued production.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms.

An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

The CDC, several states, and federal partners (USDA/FSIS) are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. This investigation is ongoing and has not identified a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain as the source of infections.  However, The Public Health Agency of Canada is also investigating a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in several Canadian provinces linked to cooked diced chicken.

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) shows that the type of Listeria making people sick in Canada is closely related genetically to the Listeria making people sick in the United States. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

As of August 23, 2019, a total of 24 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes has been reported from 13 states.  Ill people range in age from 35 to 92 years, with a median age of 72. Sixty-three percent of ill people are female. Of 23 ill people with information available, 22 hospitalizations have been reported. Two deaths have been reported.

As of August 23 2019, there have been seven confirmed cases of Listeria monocytogenes illness in three provinces: British Columbia (1), Manitoba (1) and Ontario (5). Individuals became sick between November 2017 and June 2019. Six individuals have been hospitalized. Individuals who became ill are between 51 and 97 years of age. The majority of cases (86%) are female.

According to Health authorities in Canada, based on the investigation findings to date, Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak. Rosemount cooked diced chicken was supplied to institutions (including cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes) where many of the individuals who became sick resided, or visited, before becoming ill.  That product has now been recalled.

In the United States, Tip Top Poultry, Inc., a Rockmart, Ga. establishment, has recalled approximately 135,810 pounds of fully cooked poultry products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.

The frozen, diced, and mechanically separated ready to eat chicken was produced on January 21, 2019 and display “PACK DATE 01/21/19” on the labels. The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-17453” inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the case. These items were shipped to hotels, restaurants, and institutions nationwide.

The problem was discovered on August 17, 2019, when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) notified FSIS that a sample of product produced by Tip Top Poultry, Inc. confirmed positive for the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

The State Department of Agriculture has issued a consumer warning regarding raw milk in Otsego County.

The state says unpasteurized cow milk from the Muddy River Dairy in Otego has tested positive for a harmful Listeria monocytogene bacteria.

The state says Muddy River Dairy is prohibited from selling raw milk until new test samples come back clear.

There have not been any reported illnesses due to this contaminated milk. Potential symptoms include high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeriosis can even cause miscarriages or stillbirth in pregnant women.

The state of New York is warning people to not consume unpasteurized raw milk from Churchtown Dairy due to possible contamination of Listeria Monocytogenes.

On Friday, the state Department of Agriculture & Markets notified the dairy farm that a presumptive positive detection for Listeria was made from a bottled milk sample pulled from the dairy’s cooler on July 22. Listeria Monocytogenes is a species of bacteria that can cause the infection Listeriosis.

No reported cases of the illness associated with the milk have been reported.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets said that consumers who purchased raw milk from the Foundation for Ag Integrity Churchtown Dairy should immediately dispose of it and call 518-851-2042.

The dairy’s cheese and other products are still approved for sale by state Agriculture and Markets.

Churchtown Dairy manages a 28-cow biodynamic raw milk dairy herd on 250 acres, according to its website.

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets is reminding consumers that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, a process that kills bacteria responsible for numerous illnesses and diseases.

Elevation Foods is voluntarily recalling containers of Archer Farms-brand egg salad; Freskëtbrand egg salad, tuna salad, and Thai lobster salad; and Archer Farms-brand deviled egg sandwiches produced on June 18, 2019 due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

We believe fewer than 1,087 cases of product have been directly shipped to retailer warehouses throughout the United States.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recalled products were manufactured at Elevation Foods’ Knoxville, Tennessee facility.

Elevation Foods is working with distributors and retailers to quarantine and recover any impacted product remaining on store shelves.

The containers have the “use by” dates stated below printed on the side of each container and the lot number stated for each product on the side or the lid (see attached pictures). This recall applies only to the products with the lot numbers and “use by” dates stated below.

  • Archer Farms-brand Egg Salad packaged in a 12-ounce clear, square plastic container, Lot Number W1906042A, Use By 12AUG2019 (printed on the side of each container) UPC 085239018682, distributed nationwide
  • Freskët-brand Egg Salad packaged in a 32-ounce clear, square plastic container, Lot Number W1906042, Use By 12AUG2019A (printed on the side of each container
  • Freskët-brand Tuna Salad packaged in a 5-pound white, round plastic container, Lot Number W1906054, Use By 02AUG2019A (printed on the side of each container
  • Freskët-brand Thai Lobster Salad packaged in a 5-pound white, round plastic container, Lot Number W1906041, Use By 02AUG2019A (printed on the side of each container)
  • Archer Farms Deviled Egg Sandwich Half Sandwich with Bacon, UPC 220505000002, distributed nationwide
  • Archer Farms Deviled Egg Sandwich on Multigrain, UPC 498780203566, distributed nationwide

Elevation Foods identified the problem with the products after receiving positive test results for three containers of affected egg salad which were sampled and tested by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Elevation Foods is continuing to investigate potential sources of the problem.

Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods Inc. is voluntary recalling “Signature Select Avocado Chunks” with a best before date of Oct 11, 2020, after an inspection test revealed Listeria monocytogenes in the product.

The company initiated the recall “based on strict precautionary measures after the company was informed by the FDA that a routine sampling program found a positive result for Listeria monocytogenes in one sample bag of the product,” according to the Nature’s Touch notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration.

As of June 18, there hadn’t been any confirmed illnesses reported in association with the recalled frozen avocado product, the notice states. There is concern that some consumers may have the recalled frozen avocado chunks in their homes because the best-before date isn’t until Oct. 11, 2020.

Consumers can use the following label information to determine whether they have the recalled avocado in their homes:

  • Signature Select brand avocado chunks, frozen
  • 12-ounce plastic bags
  • UPC number 2113009412 on the back
  • Best-before date displayed as OCT 11 20 on the back of packages near the top

Nature’s Touch reports the avocado chunks were distributed in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, Texas and Utah.

Distribution also included the following banner stores:

  • Albertsons
  • Safeway
  • Safeway Community Markets
  • Carrs-Safeway
  • Eagle
  • Lucky
  • Pak N Save
  • Pavilions
  • Vons