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Published On: Fri, Sep 18th, 2015

Listeria outbreak affects 24, kills 1; linked to soft cheeses

One person from Ohio who died from a Listeria monocytogenes infection is among the two dozen people in 9 states associated to a multistate outbreak of the foodborne illness linked to consumption of soft cheeses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

Federal health officials say the people infected with one of the closely related Listeria strains have been reported since August 8, 2010. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: California (14), Colorado (1), Illinois (1), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (1), New York (2), Ohio (1), Tennessee (1), and Washington (1).

The investigation, a collaboration between the CDC, public health officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not conclusively identified the source of this outbreak; however, fifteen (63%) of 24 people with available information are of Middle Eastern or Eastern European descent or shopped at Middle Eastern-style markets. Of 22 ill people for whom information is available, 18 (82%) consumed soft cheeses, and 16 (89%) reported eating Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Mediterranean, or Mexican-style cheeses, including ani, feta (including Bulgarian feta), Middle Eastern-style string cheese, and nabulsi. Four (57%) of seven ill people who specified the brand of cheese eaten reported brands distributed by Karoun Dairies. No other brand of cheese was reported more than once.

On September 16, 2015, Karoun Dairies, Inc. voluntarily recalled and ceased production of certain cheeses that the company distributes due to possible contamination with Listeria.

Products were sold under the following brands: Karoun, Arz, Gopi, Queso Del Valle, Central Valley Creamery, and Yanni.

For a full list of cheeses, click HERE

Listeriosis, a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, is an important public health problem in the United States. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. However, rarely, persons without these risk factors can also be affected.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

Follow @bactiman63

A sample of some of the soft cheeses/FDA

A sample of some of the soft cheeses/FDA

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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