FDA investigating mystery outbreak caused by Listeria monocytogenes

FDA investigating mystery outbreak caused by Listeria monocytogenes

Federal officials are investigating a new outbreak of infections from Listeria monocytogenes, but little is known at this time.

The outbreak reported by the Food and Drug Administration this afternoon is from an unknown source. 

FDA investigators have begun an onsite inspection and sample testing, but the agency did not provide information about the location of the inspection or what food is being tested.

Although the onsite inspections and sample testing have begun, the FDA reports that it has not initiated any traceback efforts on any foods or beverages.

As of this afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not posted any information about the outbreak.

The FDA did not report how many people are sick or where they live.

About Listeria infections

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

It can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. 

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

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