A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) brought new light on an August 2010 Listeria outbreak linked to Prairieville, Louisiana-based Veron Foods hog head cheese and sausage products when the CDC announced that the previously reported 14 illnesses, also included two deaths and seven hospitalizations. The illnesses previously prompted a recall of 500,000 pounds of Veron products by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and in September of 2010.
“Having handled a number of Listeria cases, I know first-hand the grim reality of a Listeria outbreak.” said attorney and food safety advocate Bill Marler, “What we often see in a Listeria outbreak is a small pool of victims with an inordinate percentage of hospitalizations and deaths, especially in vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and the elderly.”
According to www.outbreakdatabase.com Since 2000 there have been 23 Listeria outbreaks in the U.S. and, in 2010 a Canadian company recalled its products after 26 people became ill from hog head cheese contaminated with both Salmonella and Listeria.
“Despite a USDA zero tolerance policy on Listeria, we’ve nonetheless had too many people sickened from this bug,” added Marler, “Companies like Veron need to do everything they can to prevent this type of outbreak.”
A person with listeriosis may develop fever, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. In some individuals Listeria can invade the central nervous system, causing meningitis and/or encephalitis (brain infection). Anyone believed to have contracted a Listeria infection should speak to a healthcare professional. For more information on Listeria, visit www.about-listeria.com.