The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says that hard-boiled eggs are linked to a deadly Listeria outbreak that has sickened seven people in five states (Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas).
So far, four people have been hospitalized in the multi-state outbreak. One death was reported from Texas.
A newborn who was infected with Listeria while the mother was pregnant survived the infection.
According to the CDC, interviews with ill people and laboratory evidence indicate that bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods of Gainesville, Georgia are a likely source of this outbreak.
These eggs were packaged in plastic pails and sold under various brand names nationwide to food service operators, including grocery stores and restaurants.
The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness.
Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns.
Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected. Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract.
In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
In addition, listeriosis can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.
Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating potentially contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the food.