Enoki Mushrooms: As of November 15, 2022, two people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from two states. Sick people’s samples were collected from October 5, 2022, to October 8, 2022.
The two sick people are 30 and 42 years old, and they are both males. Both have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Both sick people reported eating enoki mushrooms or eating at restaurants with menu items containing enoki mushrooms.
In November 2021, FDA found Listeriain one sample of enoki mushrooms that they collected at import, as part of the FDA’s strategy to prevent Listeria outbreaks linked to imported enoki mushrooms. These enoki mushrooms were destroyed. The Listeriafrom this sample is closely related genetically to the Listeriathat made the people in this outbreak sick. However, to date, the firm associated with this sample has not been identified as a potential source of enoki mushrooms in this outbreak.
CDC advises people who are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system to not eat raw enoki mushrooms. CDC also advises restaurants to not serve raw enoki mushrooms. Cook enoki mushrooms thoroughly to kill any foodborne germs. Currently, FDA has issued three import alerts that include enoki mushrooms.
Deli Meats and Cheeses: As of November 9, 2022, 16 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from 6 states. Sick people’s samples were collected from April 17, 2021, to September 29, 2022.
Public health officials collect information about the age, ethnicity, and other demographics of sick people, and the types of foods they have eaten, to provide clues that can help identify the source of the outbreak. Sick people range in age from 38 to 92 years, with a median age of 74, and 62% are male. Of 13 people with ethnicity information available, 11 are of Eastern European background or speak Russian. Of 14 people with information available, 13 have been hospitalized, including one Maryland resident who died. One person got sick during their pregnancy, resulting in pregnancy loss.
State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the month before they got sick. Of the 12 people interviewed, 11 reported eating meat or cheese from deli counters. Among seven sick people in New York, five bought sliced deli meat or cheese from at least one location of NetCost Market, a grocery store chain that sells international foods. Sick people from other states purchased deli meats or cheeses from other delis.
Investigators do not believe that NetCost Market delis are the only source of illnesses because some sick people in the outbreak did not shop at a NetCost Market. A contaminated food likely introduced the outbreak strain of Listeria into delis in multiple states.
In 2021, health officials in New York state and New York City found the outbreak strain of Listeriain several environmental and food samples:
- Environmental samples from a NetCost Market deli in Brooklyn
- Several open packages of mortadella and ham that were sliced at the same NetCost Market deli in Brooklyn
- Sliced salami that a sick person bought from a NetCost Market deli in Staten Island
NetCost Market voluntarily closed the deli temporarily in Brooklyn after New York officials notified them about the sampling results. NetCost Market performed a deep cleaning and then reopened the deli in Brooklyn after further environmental testing did not identify Listeria. In September 2022, the outbreak strain was found at the same Brooklyn NetCost Market deli; however, the most recent illness with NetCost Market exposure was in October 2021. After a deep cleaning, additional environmental testing did not identify Listeria in the deli.
Brie Cheese: A total of six people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeriawere reported from six states. Sick people’s samples were collected from August 6, 2017, to August 5, 2022.
Sick people ranged in age from 56 to 83 years, with a median age of 78, and 67% were female. Five people were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.
FDA, with assistance from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, inspected the Old Europe Cheese facility in Michigan and collected samples for testing. WGS showed that the Listeriafound in the cooling room was closely related genetically to Listeria from sick people’s samples. This provided more evidence that people got sick from eating cheese made by Old Europe Cheese.
On September 30, 2022, Old Europe Cheese, Inc. recalled their brie and camembert cheese.
On October 4, 2022, Swiss American recalled St Louis brand brie cheese made by Old Europe Cheese, Inc.
On October 5, 2022, Old Europe Cheese expanded their recall to include baked brie cheese.
In November 2022, an updated list of stores that received recalled bulk brie and camembert cheese was added to the Old Europe Cheese recall notice. More than 700 stores in 38 states received bulk cheese, and these stores likely repacked and sold them under other brand names before the cheese was recalled.
Listeria: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeriaoutbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $800 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation. Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as lettuce, polony, deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.
If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.