A food poisoning outbreak tied to deli meats and cheese has sickened 16 people, including one death, US health officials said on Wednesday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most were hospitalizations and pregnancy loss as a result of an illness. The agency said the illnesses date back to April last year, with the most recent report being on September 29.
Many reported eating meat or cheese from the deli counter where investigators detected open packages of sliced meat and listeria in the environment. The bacteria was found at two NetCost Market locations in New York, but health officials said listeria was unlikely to be the sole source of the outbreak because some sick people did not shop at the store.
The sick were from New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey and California. The CDC said the death was reported in Maryland.
Eleven of those who fell ill are of Eastern European background or speak Russian and investigators are trying to trace them.
Netcost temporarily closed the deli at its store in the borough of Brooklyn last year after New York health officials informed the company that three people infected with listeria had eaten there. After deep cleaning, no listeria was found. But in September, the pressure of the outbreak was found in the same market.
Netcost did not immediately respond to an email for comment.
Listeria is a permanent germ that can be difficult to remove from surfaces and equipment. Symptoms of listeria poisoning include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. It is especially dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.