This Grocery Store Item Was Just Linked to 90% of U.S. Listeria Cases

The news follows recent ice cream, cheese, and salmon recalls.

AJ_Watt/iStock/Getty Images

We've seen our share of listeria outbreaks within the last year—including ice cream, cheese, and salmon recalls. Dole and Fresh Express had to controversially pull their own products from store shelves following a brush with the foodborne illness themselves. 

So where's it all coming from? According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, deli meat is behind 90% of reported Listeriosis. Not so coincidentally, salad, cheese, seafood, and frozen veggies trail behind (in that order). 

In case you're unfamiliar with the disease (aside from our constant food recall headlines), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) labels Listeriosis as a bacterial infection that can cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever, nausea, and even vomiting. More severe infections can go as far to cause spur confusion, headaches, muscle aches, and a stiff neck, Food & Wine reports.

The FDA has categorized it as a "rare but very serious" illness that affects around 1,600 people in the US each year. While the fatality rate is around 20% to 30%, hospitalizations are around 90%—which proves how serious it can be.

"Pasteurization, cooking, and most disinfecting agents kill L. monocytogenes," the CDC said of how to avoid the disease. "However, in some ready-to-eat food, such as hot dogs and deli meats, contamination may occur after the food is cooked in the factory but before it's packaged."

To fully reduce risk, hot dogs, cold cuts, and other deli meats should be heated up (to around 165°F, to be exact) before eating.

Looking for more recall information?

We’re always looking out for food safety alerts. For up to date information on food and drink products that have been recalled, check out this page, which is updated regularly.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.