Listeria outbreak linked to deli meat and cheese reaches California
The California outbreak of listeria is linked to deli meats, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.
The agency said listeria cases have been reported in 19 states (and the District of Columbia) and the District of Columbia, including Los Angeles County, Sacramento County and several counties in Texas, where most of the cases have been reported.
The agency cited a number of factors that have caused the outbreak, including improper cooking of food, the handling of food at point of sale, and eating at restaurants.
The state health department is investigating a cluster of listeria cases in Los Angeles, and authorities said Friday they had found 100 cases statewide. The agency said it is working to contain the outbreak, but that it will take time, and the cases will likely continue to increase as the agency investigates.
“It is likely that the number is much greater than 100, as cases appear in people who did not go to restaurants and did not purchase deli meats,” the state health department said in a statement. “The case numbers could continue to climb substantially.”
The state and CDC are “currently investigating the source of the outbreak,” the agency said.
More than 20 cases of listeria have been linked to food cooked on restaurant grills, the CDC said.
In addition to the reported cases in California, the CDC said it also is investigating the outbreak in North Carolina.
The agency said all its cases have been lab-confirmed, not diagnosed directly with listeria but through one of the CDC’s outbreak investigation teams.
Lists of cases
The California investigation began on Dec. 22, when an employee at California Pizza Kitchen became sick after consuming cold cuts from one of the restaurant’s restaurants.
On Dec. 29, the employee visited the emergency room, and later was diagnosed with listeria, the state health department said.
On Dec. 30, a man visiting a restaurant in Fresno became ill two days after eating from a deli at the restaurant. On Jan. 3, a man in Davis, Calif., was diagnosed with listeria.
On Jan. 4, a man visiting a deli