close
Saturday February 24, 2024

Fatal US listeria outbreak linked to Super Bowl treats like queso fresco, Cotija cheese

According to the CDC, listeria is the third most common foodborne infection in the US, accounting for over 260 deaths annually

By Web Desk
February 08, 2024
Listeria infected melons. — AFP/File
Listeria infected melons. — AFP/File

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have revealed that dozens of dairy products, including the well-liked Super Bowl treats queso fresco and Cotija cheese, are connected to a fatal listeria outbreak that has spread to 11 US states. 

But, how can you lower your chance of contracting the infection?

Even rival bacterial nemeses salmonella and E. coli are powerless against the resilient germs of listeria, which is why it can thrive in a refrigerator.

According to the CDC, listeria is the third most common foodborne infection in the US, accounting for over 260 deaths annually.

Healthy immune systems can cause adults and kids to get a moderate or unpleasant disease that doesn't need to be treated in a hospital or with antibiotics. On the other hand, anyone who is immunocompromised—older folks, organ transplant recipients, cancer patients, persons with kidney illness, people with diabetes, or those living with HIV/AIDS—can become very sick and even die, according to CNN.

CDC confirmed that 26 persons from 11 states are known to have contracted the current listeria outbreak strain between June 2014 and December 2023. There have been reports of two deaths linked to the diseases in Texas and California.

Listeria outbreaks in the 1990s were frequently caused by deli meat and hot dogs. This was probably due to the challenge of thoroughly cleaning the resistant bacteria from all nooks and crannies in deli food processing equipment, as per CDC.

Nonetheless, the FDA stated that soft cheeses, sprouts, melons, celery, ice cream, and leafy greens like spinach have all been connected to listeria outbreaks.