(WXYZ) — In our Health Alert tonight, a deadly Listeria outbreak has been linked to sliced deli meats and cheeses sold at stores in four states, including Michigan.
The Listeria outbreak has infected eight people over the past two years, one of whom died here in Michigan
The other illnesses were reported in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked this particular strain of Listeria to meats and cheeses sliced at a deli and at deli counters in several stores. They have not been able to identify one common supplier of the deli products.
The Listeria bacteria causes the foodborne illness known as Listeriosis. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
It’s important to note that these symptoms usually show up anywhere from one to four weeks after eating contaminated food.
The people at most risk of getting sick are pregnant women and their newborns, seniors age 65 and older, and those with a weakened immune system. Anyone in these groups should avoid eating deli meats, unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees or until steaming hot just before serving.
As of now, the CDC is not advising stores to stop selling deli products or consumers to stop eating them. But there are some precautions you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick:
- First, don’t let juice from lunch meat packages spill onto other foods and surfaces.
- Clean all kitchen areas that come into contact with deli sliced products.
- Always wash your hands after touching lunch meats and hot dogs.
- And, opened packages of deli sliced meats should only be stored 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
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Data pulled from WXYZ