Listeria Outbreak Includes Two Illnesses in Texas
By Joey Berlin

Federal health authorities are investigating two outbreaks of the bacterial infection known as listeria linked to packaged salads, including one outbreak that has reached Texas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a Feb. 1 Food Safety Alert that the latest outbreak, linked to Dole salads, had produced 17 illnesses, 13 hospitalizations, and two deaths. Texas is among the states affected in that outbreak, with two of the illnesses, according to CDC data.

People infected with listeria usually begin reporting symptoms between one and four weeks after eating listeria-contaminated food, according to CDC. Healthy people rarely become ill from listeria, but it can cause severe infections of the bloodstream or brain in people 65 and older and in the immunocompromised population. While listeria infections are usually mild for pregnant women, it causes severe diseases in the fetus or newborn baby, CDC says. Most people who have it require hospitalization, and about one in five die.

Because listeria infections take so long after contamination to develop symptoms, they can be difficult for physicians to identify based on symptoms alone, and detecting the infection usually requires a lab test to confirm. More information is available on CDC’s listeria page for health professionals and laboratories.

The other listeria outbreak, still under investigation by CDC, is tied to Fresh Express salads. Ten people have gotten sick in that outbreak, and all have been hospitalized, with one death.

Last Updated On

April 05, 2022

Originally Published On

February 07, 2022

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Joey Berlin

Managing Editor

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Joey Berlin is managing editor of Texas Medicine. His previous work includes stints as a reporter and editor for various newspapers and publishing companies, and he’s covered everything from hard news to sports to workers’ compensation. Joey grew up in the Kansas City area. He lives in Austin.

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