Ken Robinson of Newsradio WTAM 1100 reports that the Ohio Department of Agriculture reports that listeria was found in a chicken and dumplings lunch, prepared by Paige Catering on East 55th Street. The company provides thousands of meals to senior citizen centers in 5 counties. No meals were distributed to centers on Thursday, they hope to resume on Monday.
Listeria kills 500 Americans every year, but so far, no local illnesses, additional testing is being done. Listeria is commonly found in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food. It can spread to the nervous system and cause meningitis. Vegetables can become contaminated from the soil, and animals can also be carriers. Listeria has been found in uncooked meats, uncooked vegetables, unpasteurized milk, foods made from unpasteurized milk, and processed foods. The bacteria is killed by pasteurization and cooking, however, in ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats, contamination may occur after cooking and before packaging. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, ailments such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.