As is being reported today, February 24, 2014 by Food Safety News, there is a confirmed listeria outbreak currently enveloping two states: California and Maryland. So far there has been one fatality in California and many illnesses in Maryland.
Listeria is one of the more deadly food born illnesses and often carries a fatality rate of 20 to 40%. In an unusual circumstance for a food born illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has become involved in the investigation of how and where the listeria originated.
So far the only company named in this investigation is Roos Foods. Roos Foods brands named in the public health warning include: Santa Rosa de Lima, Amigo, Mexicana, Suyapa, La Chapina, La Purisima and Crema Nica. Onset of illness dates range from Aug. 1, 2013, to Nov. 27, 2013. Roos Foods issued a voluntary recall on Feb. 23 of certain Mexicana, Amigo, Santa Rosa De Lima, and Anita brand cheeses distributed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Due to the fact listeria has a long incubation period (the time it takes you to get sick), there is a fear this outbreak can spread national since the company involved does ship their product nationally. Health officials are warning people not to eat any cheeses made form this company.
The symptoms for listeria are as follows: high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.