Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes Linked to Hard-Boiled Eggs, December 2019

Jan 02, 2020 | Michelle Shapiro

FDA, CDC, and state and local partners are currently investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to foods that contain hard-boiled eggs. On December 20, 2019, Almark Foods recalled and suspended production of hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails due to the potential for contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. These hard-boiledand peeled eggs were sold in pails under the following names: Rainbow Select Hard-cooked Eggs, Rainbow Select Hard-cooked Eggs in Vinegar, Nic’s Salad Hard-boiled Eggs, Almark Hard-cooked Eggs, and Sutherland Select Hard-cooked Eggs. A full list of recalled products is included below.

Recommendation

Food processors, restaurants, and retailers should not sell or serve any of the recalled hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails from Almark Foods. These products were not sold directly to consumers.

Additionally, FDA recommends that food processors, restaurants and retailers who have received Almark Foods bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs, use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with these products, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Background:

As of December 17, 2019, a total of seven people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from five states. In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the month before they became ill. Of the five people for whom information was available, four reported eating products containing eggs. Three of these people reported eating hard-boiled eggs in deli salads purchased from grocery stores and in salads eaten at restaurants. Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 10, 2017 to November 12, 2019.

Additionally, based on whole-genome sequencing, the Listeria monocytogenes found in environmental samples collected at the firm’s processing facility during an FDA inspection conducted in February 2019 is a genetic match to the outbreak strain. FDA is conducting additional inspections and sampling. Almark Foods has been cooperating with the ongoing investigation and announced a voluntary recall of hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails on December 20, 2019.

This outbreak strain was found during environmental sampling in 2017 of one other food facility. That facility is not currently handling food and ceased operation in 2018.

The investigation is ongoing and additional information will be provided as it becomes available

Read the full update.


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About Michelle Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro was formerly a communication specialist for the Environmental Health & Disability team at NACCHO.

More posts by Michelle Shapiro

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