Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they are investigating an outbreak of Listeria infections on four states linked to meats and cheeses sliced at deli counters. As of Apr, 17th there have been eight confirmed cases, all of them which have required hospitalization and one death has been reported.
As there is no common supplier identified so far, CDC advises retailers to clean and sanitize deli slicers frequently and other areas where deli products are prepared, stored or served to avoid cross-contamination. There are no recalls linked to this case so far.
CDC also points out that pregnant women, people age 65 or older, or people with a weakened immune system should avoid eating lunch meats, cold cuts, or other deli meats unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving.
Additional recommended steps to prevent Listeria infection:
- Listeria bacteria can survive at very low temperatures and can spread easily to other foods and surfaces. Consumers should clean refrigerators, kitchen countertops, utensils, and other surfaces that touch deli-sliced products.
- Don’t let juice from lunch meat and hot dog packages get on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces.
- Wash hands after handling deli meats, lunch meats, deli cheeses, and hot dogs.
- Store opened packages of meat sliced at a local deli no longer than 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.