Deadly listeria outbreak across 5 states linked to hard-boiled eggs, CDC says

Seven people across five states have contracted Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to hard-boiled eggs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning

The CDC is investigating the outbreak alongside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as public health and regulatory officials from several states throughout the outbreak region. 

As of Tuesday, there have been a total of seven infections in Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Florida. 

One death has been reported from an infection case in Texas, and four hospitalizations have been reported among the other six reported infections. 

People infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes, by state of residence, as of December 17, 2019.

People infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes, by state of residence, as of December 17, 2019. 

The CDC is reporting that the infection outbreak likely stemmed from bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs produced at Almark Foods in Gainesville, Georgia. 

These products were packaged in plastic pails for use nationwide by food service operators, and there is currently no recall in place for these products, the CDC reported. 

The agency is warning retailers and food service operators to avoid using bulk hard-boiled eggs produced at the Almark Foods Gainesville, Georgia facility, regarldess of use-by date.

“Consumers will not be able to tell if products they’ve purchased from stores contain these eggs,” the CDC warns, adding that those who have an elevated risk of Listeria infection — pregnant women and their newborns, adults over the age of 65, and people with weakened immune systems —  should be extra cautious. 

The CDC recommends throwing out any store-bought hard-boiled eggs or products containing hard-boiled eggs, such as egg salad. 

Additionally, when eating out at restaurants, the CDC urges checking with staff about the source of any hard-boiled eggs before purchasing, ordering or eating. If they use hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods, the CDC urges not to buy or order the product. 

Listeria infections can lead to listeriosis, a serious and potentially fatal infection.

In pregnant women, listeriosis causes fever and other flu-like symptoms. In people other than pregnant women, the infection can cause symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.