(850 WFTL) – U.S. health officials say one person is dead, and 16 people are sick after a food poisoning outbreak that is tied to deli meat and cheese.
On Wednesday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that most people were hospitalized and one illness resulted in the loss of a pregnancy. The illnesses date back to April last year with the most recent report on Sept. 29, the agency said.
Many reported eating meat or cheese from deli counters where investigators detected listeria in open packages of sliced meats and in the environment.
Those sickened were from New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, New Jersey and California. The death was reported in Maryland, the CDC said.
Officials say the true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses.
Listeria is a persistent germ that can be hard to get rid of from surfaces and equipment. Symptoms of listeria poisoning include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. It is especially dangerous for the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.
CDC advises people at higher risk of severe Listeria illness to not eat meat or cheese from any deli counter, unless it is reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot.