The Miami Herald recently reported on an interesting case:

Timothy DeLong, president of Atlantis Foods, acknowledged that his company failed to notify clients that six shipments of food in 2003 were tainted with Listeria monocytogenes.

According to the two-count information charging DeLong, he failed to initiate a product recall or to tell customers that his Lantana-headquartered company shipped products before receiving the results of outside or in-house testing for safety.

On six occasions, an outside laboratory found Listeria monocytogenes in Maine lobster dip, salmon cream cheese and salmon spread, chicken salad and crab stuffing. But the government document said DeLong sold $50,000 of the tainted products.

Approximately 2,500 cases of listeriosis are estimated to occur in the U.S. each year. About 200 in every 1000 cases result in death. Certain groups of individuals are at greater risk for listeriosis, including pregnant women (and their unborn children) and immunocompromised persons. Among infants, listeriosis occurs when the infection is transmitted from the mother, either through the placenta or during the birthing process. These host factors, along with the amount of bacteria ingested and the virulence of the strain, determine the risk of disease. Human cases of listeriosis are, for the most part, sporadic and treatable. Nonetheless, Listeria remains an important threat to public health, especially among those most susceptible to this disease.