CDC investigates outbreak of listeria tied to deli meats and cheeses

(Photo: Centers for Disease Control/File)
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WASHINGTON (WTHR) — The Centers for Disease Control are investigating a multi-state outbreak of listeria connected to deli-sliced meats and cheeses.

The agency said Wednesday there have been eight reported cases of listeria in four states, including New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, with a death reported in Michigan. Evidence showed meats and cheese sliced at deli counters might have been contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, which could make people sick.

Those who fell ill reported eating meats and cheeses from several different retail locations and samples taken from deli counters in multiple stores tested positive for the outbreak strain, the CDC reported. However, a common supplier of the deli products has not been identified and the CDC is not advising consumers to "avoid eating products prepared at delis, or that retailers stop selling deli-sliced products."

The CDC recommends not letting juice from lunch meat and hot dog packages come in contact with other foods, utensils or food preparation surfaces to reduce the risk of listeria. Also, washing hands after handling deli meats and cheeses and storing sliced meat and cheese no longer than 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Officials say pregnant women, newborns, adults over the age of 65 and people with weakened immune systems are most likely to get sick due to listeria.

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