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December 19, 2019

Listeria outbreak linked to packaged hard-boiled eggs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising the public not to eat, serve or sell hard-boiled eggs packaged by Almark Foods of Gainesville, Georgia.

The CDC released a food safety alert following an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections affecting multiple states, including Pennsylvania. The source appears to be hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods, investigators from the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in the alert.

These peeled eggs were packaged in plastic pails and sold nationwide to both food stores and restaurants, according to the CDC. 

Seven people across Texas, Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania and South Carolina have been infected. Four of them were hospitalized. One death in Texas has been reported, the CDC said.

The eggs have not yet been recalled. Additionally, Almark Foods hard-boiled eggs sold directly to consumers are not included in the alert. 

Listeria is a foodborne bacterial infection that can be dangerous to anyone with a weakened immune system, pregnant women and their unborn babies, and newborns. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. Left unchecked the infection can start to affect the nervous system causing headache, a stiff neck, balance issues and convulsions.

This type of infection can be treated by antibiotics. If you develop a fever that remains high and start experiencing a severe headache, stiff neck and confusion, Mayo Clinic experts advise heading to the closest emergency department.

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