The CDC has issued a food safety warning after an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infected at least seven people across five states, with four hospitalizations and one death being reported. The outbreak is linked to hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods, a company based in Gainesville, Georgia. The eggs were peeled and sold to retailers around the country in plastic containers.
The affected states so far include Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maine. The CDC has created a live map of recorded cases, which you can check for updates.
Note: The alert pertains only to the above product, which is sold in stores, and it does not include eggs from other brands or eggs sold directly to consumers by Almark Foods.
Consumers are being advised to throw this product away if they have it in their homes, while food retailers are being told not to sell it. The eggs have not actually been recalled.
Pregnant women and older people are generally at a higher risk for listeria infection (or listeriosis), as are people with immune system problems. The scary thing is, symptoms often don’t begin to show up until about one to four weeks after you’ve eaten contaminated food, and it can sometimes take months. In other cases, you might feel them right away, the CDC says.
Here are the symptoms the CDC says to watch out for:
- Pregnant women: “Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.”
- Everyone else: “Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.”
Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics, so see a healthcare professional if you think you might be infected. You can check out the full safety alert here.