Listeria Outbreak Sickens Three Newborns In Maryland

Listeria outbreak continues to spread through different states as the infectious bacteria kills one in California and sickens seven in Maryland, including three newly born babies.

The Center for Disease Control stated Friday that the listeria outbreak might have come from Caujada en Terron, a type of Latin cheese produced by the Delaware based company Roos Foods. All victims claim to have eaten the semi-soft cheese prior to being infected with the bacteria.

NBC News reports that aside from the three newborns affected by the listeria outbreak, two of the sick newborns’ mothers are also infected by the food-borne pathogen.

The CDC did not reveal in their statement the grocery store that sold the contaminated cheese to the patients.

According to an LA Times article released Saturday, the patients of the listeria outbreak were first seen to be affected by the bacteria between August 1 and November 27 last year. Of the eight who were diagnosed, seven were hospitalized. Five of the cases were linked to pregnancy.

The same article reported that Roos Foods also produce cheese under different brand names like Santa Rosa de Lima, Amigo, Mexicana, Suyapa, La Chapina and La Purisima Prema Nica.

Roos Foodswebsite states that the company is family-owned and specializes in Latin inspired dairy products that are marketed towards Hispanic families living in the US. The company’s website also boasts of using high quality, natural and fresh ingredients in making their dairy products.

Listeria outbreaks are usually caused by people ingesting food contaminated with the bacterium listeria monocytogenes. The bacteria thrives on a variety of environments, from raw meat to human and animal feces and is mainly transmitted to humans through oral means. Pregnant women and the elderly are most susceptible to the bacteria. Babies are usually infected by l. monocytogenes while in the womb of an afflicted mother. Symptoms of contracting the bacteria includes fever, muscle aches and diarrhea.

In 2011, a widespread listeria outbreak occurred when people ate cantaloupes packed in an unsanitary shed in a Colorado farm. 25 people died from the nationwide listeria outbreak. In January, the Inquisitr reported that the cantaloupe farmers responsible for the 2011 listeria outbreak were found guilty of violating health codes that could have prevented the deadly outbreak. Upon inspection, the farms where the cantaloupes were grown were seen to be short of the hygiene standards of the state. Brothers and cantaloupe farmers Eric and Ryan Jensen were sentenced to probation for their involvement in the largest listeria outbreak in recent history.

Image from Flickr.

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