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Illinois listeria food poisoning lawyerOne person has died, a pregnant woman lost her baby, and several others have required hospitalization after contracting listeria from deli meat and cheese. Listeria is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States and is especially dangerous for pregnant women, those over 65 years old, and people with a weak immune system. If you have been affected by the latest outbreak contact Newland & Newland, LLP. We have experienced listeria food poisoning attorneys who can help.

Impacted States

Infections have been reported in Illinois, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California. People have reported getting sick after eating deli meat or cheese sold at a market in New York. But officials believe this store is not the only source of the contaminated food and that the number of sick people is likely to rise.

Health Complications Due to Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that produces an infection called listeriosis. It is a severe illness that involves multiple organs and complications including brain infection. The elderly can suffer blood infections leading to sepsis. About 25 percent of listeriosis cases are fatal, but it can take as much as three to four weeks to determine if you are sick as a result of listeria. Symptoms include confusion, stiff neck, convulsions, loss of balance, and muscle aches. If caught early, antibiotics can be used to treat listeria.

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joliet food poisoning lawyerA listeria outbreak has been tied to Brie and Camembert cheeses. Listeria is especially dangerous for moms-to-be because an infection can cause pregnancy loss and stillbirths. Young children, the elderly, and those with a weaker immune system also face a higher risk of illness. So far, five people in the United States have been hospitalized because of this outbreak. If you felt sick after eating one of these cheeses, you need a listeria food poisoning attorney who can help.

Brie and Camembert Cheeses Recall

All Old Europe Cheese Brie and Camembert products were distributed to stores across the nation and Mexico between August 1, 2022, and September 28, 2022. Some of the retailers that carry them include Albertsons, Safeway, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Save Mart, and Stop & Shop, among others.

Retailers may have repackaged bulk cheese into smaller packages for sale. That packaging may not have the original food labels. The cheese was sold under multiple brand names including Black Bear, Trader Joe, Prestige, Primo Taglio, Glenview Farms, and Cobblestone, among others.

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illinois listeria lawyerFood products that are sold to people in the United States should be safe to eat. Unfortunately, there are many ways that foods can become contaminated by viruses, bacteria, or other toxins that can cause harm to people. When outbreaks of foodborne illnesses occur, government organizations may require food product manufacturers to recall to ensure that unsafe foods are removed from the market. These types of recalls occur more frequently than most people realize, and one recent recall involved ready-to-eat chicken products manufactured by Tyson Foods that had been contaminated with listeria.

Millions of Pounds of Food Products Recalled From Stores and Institutions

After being notified of multiple cases of listeria infections in June of 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigated food products that may have caused these illnesses. Inspectors found the presence of listeria bacteria in a number of frozen, fully-cooked chicken products. Following this discovery, Tyson Foods, Inc. initiated a recall of a wide variety of these products.

In addition to products made available for retail sale, the recall also included foods provided to restaurants, hospitals, nursing facilities, schools, and other institutions. The products recalled included fully cooked chicken strips, boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced grilled chicken breasts, pulled white chicken, chicken wing sections, and fully cooked pizza with chicken. In addition to Tyson, brands of recalled products include Jet’s Pizza, Marco’s Pizza, Little Caesars, and Casey’s General Store. In total, nearly nine million pounds of food products produced between December 26, 2020 and April 13, 2021 were recalled.

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Illinois food poisoning attorneysThere are a wide variety of pathogens that can lead to food poisoning. While most people are aware of the dangers of salmonella or E. coli, they may not know about listeria. Food poisoning cases involving this bacteria are less common, but they are often more serious, and an infection can result in severe illness or death. Recently, a significant number of listeria infections were linked to several different cheese products sold by the company El Abuelito, Inc.

Contaminated Cheese Products

Beginning in October of 2020 and continuing through March of 2021, multiple cases of listeria infections were reported across four states by people who had eaten Hispanic-style cheese products. As a result, El Abuelito, Inc. has recalled a number of products, including queso fresco cheeses with sell-by dates through March 28, 2021, quesillo and Oaxaca cheeses with sell-by dates through April 16, 2021, and requeson (ricotta) cheeses with sell-by dates through March 14, 2021. The recalled brands included:

  • El Abuelito
  • El Viejito
  • El Sabrosito
  • El Paisano
  • Rio Lindo
  • Rio Grande
  • La Cima
  • San Carlos
  • Quesos Finos
  • Ideal

In some cases, these products may have been repackaged at stores and sold without brand labels or under different brand names. Customers who purchased cheeses that may have been subject to a recall have been advised to throw them away or return them to the store.

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Listeria Threat Linked to Pre-Packaged SandwichesListeria outbreaks in the U.S. are rare compared to other forms of food poisoning, but food manufacturers and regulators take the potential of an outbreak seriously. For instance, Lipari Foods recently issued a voluntary recall of some of its pre-packaged sandwiches because they potentially contained listeria monocytogenes. The products included chicken salad and ham and cheese sandwiches under the Premo, Fresh Grab, and Lipari Old Tyme brand names. Lipari Foods distributed the sandwiches to retailers in 15 states, including Illinois. There were no reported illnesses connected to the recalled products as of the announcement of the recall on Oct. 8. A listeria infection, known as listeriosis, can be life-threatening, depending on the patient.

Those Most Vulnerable

Symptoms of listeriosis may appear as soon as a day after eating contaminated food or take weeks to develop. The severity of the symptoms depends on whether the infection has spread beyond the gut – known as invasive listeriosis – and may include:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle aches
  • Stiff neck
  • Loss of balance

Healthy adults rarely develop long-lasting illnesses from listeriosis, but the infection can be more serious for children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Patients with invasive listeriosis often require hospitalization, and about one in five patients die according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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