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Listeria outbreak: Tainted cheese to blame, 1 death and 7 sickened by outbreak

Microscopic view of the Listeria sickness found in cheese
Microscopic view of the Listeria sickness found in cheese
Creative Commons, NewsInferno

A Listeria outbreak has struck certain regions of the U.S. this week, and with 1 confirmed death and at least 7 others sickened by the bacteria, it is thought that tainted cheese is to blame. U.S. health officials are still trying to determine specifics about the outbreak, but it is believed that the cases stem from cheese originally made in Delaware and then later sold in the state of Maryland. UPI News reveals this Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is investigating the sickness scare that has afflicted a minimum of three newborn babies as well.

Roos Foods products are believed to be the culprit food source behind the Listeria outbreak hitting California and Maryland recently. Tainted cheese sold in a still undisclosed grocery chain was likely infected with the dangerous bacteria before being offered to unsuspecting customers in Maryland. Just a single individual outside of the state was affected — a victim from California, the only instance where 1 death resulted — while the 7 others (a few of them babies) were struck ill.

According to an official report from the CDC, the origins of this contained but critical outbreak is likely from Caujada en Terron, a very soft cheese that is prepped by Roos Foods, located in Kenton, Delaware. In addition to the cheese being taken off shelves, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has also since warned the public not to purchase other Roos Foods products at this time until the health situation has been resolved.

Listeria is not commonly fatal, but as seen in the 1 tragic death in California this week, more serious cases can be life-threatening. The infection Listeria is ultimately spread by a food-borne bacterium scientifically called Listeria monocytogenes. It often leads to sever diarrhea and fever, and poses a particular threat to the elderly, young children and babies, and pregnant women.

At this time, the CDC hopes that with the tainted cheese now gone from Maryland and Delaware shelves — the California victim’s death is still being examined by health authorities — the Listeria outbreak is contained and will diminish shortly. Two farmers from Colorado just back in 2011 were blamed for a fatal outbreak of the bacteria infection that killed a total of 33 people.