Cloud’s Food Service is recalling tuna salad and egg salad sandwiches for possible contamination with Listeria Monocytogenes, a foodborne bacterium.  4219 units are included in the recall, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which posted a recall notice on its webste:

These sandwiches are labeled with "Cloud’s Tuna Salad" and "Cloud’s Egg Salad" located on the product label. The product was packaged in flexible plastic film and plastic wedges. Recalled products are as follows:

* Cloud’s Tuna Salad Sandwich on White Bread, 5 oz., date code 62607-72507
* Cloud’s Egg Salad Sandwich on White Bread, 5 oz., date code 41907-72507

All sandwiches were sold in convenience stores in East Texas, West Louisiana and Southwest Arkansas.

Listeria monocytogenesListeria monocytogenes (Listeria) is a pathogenic (disease-causing) bacterium that is food borne and causes an illness called listeriosis. It is frequently overlooked as a possible cause of illness due to its unique growth capabilities. First, it is somewhat difficult for laboratories to grow, and when they do so, Listeria can be confused with common harmless contaminants and disregarded. Second, most bacteria grow poorly when temperatures fall below 40°F, while Listeria survives in temperatures from below freezing (20°F) to body temperature and it grows best at 0°F to 50°F, including the temperature range that we use for refrigeration. As a result, Listeria may be transmitted in ready-to-eat foods that have been kept properly refrigerated. Its ability to grow in such diverse environments is just one of the many challenges presented by this dangerous bacterium.

It is estimated that Listeria causes approximately 1,600 cases of listeriosis annually, resulting in 415 deaths.

Listeriosis is the disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. It is acquired by the ingestion of contaminated foods. Certain groups of individuals are at great risk for listeriosis. These are pregnant women (and their unborn children) and immunocompromised persons (e.g., transplant recipients). 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.

For unknown reasons, in immune-deficient hosts Listeria invades and grows best in the central nervous system, causing meningitis and/or encephalitis (brain infection). In pregnant women, the fetus is most heavily infected, leading to spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, or sepsis in infancy.