A deadly listeria outbreak possibly linked to specialty cheeses has sickened five people and killed one, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Furthermore, the FDA reports, one illness in a pregnant woman reportedly resulted in a miscarriage.
As a result, the U.S. agency reports that it is currently engaged in a fast-breaking investigation that it says is associated with Truffles cheese distributed by Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese Company of Waterloo, Wis.
Among the retailers recalling the cheese is Whole Foods Market, according to the Associated Press.
Thus far, those reportedly sickened by the deadly bacterium reside in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio with the first reported case taking place May 20.
Listeriosis is a rare illness usually caused by eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and was responsible for the death of 33 people in 2011 as a result of tainted cantaloupe.
Symptoms include a fever and muscle aches sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, symptoms can vary between people. For example, pregnant women typically experience fever and other non-specific symptoms, while others are more liable to suffer from headaches, a stiff neck, confusion and convulsion.
In order to prevent infection, the agency outlines a number of safety measures. This includes rinsing raw produce even if it is going to be peeled, scrubbing firm produce such as melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush and separating uncooked meats and poultry from vegetables, cooked foods and read-to-eat foods.
Keeping a generally clean kitchen such as cleaning the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator with hot water and soap and washing hands, knives countertops and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods is important as well.
Finally, the CDC recommends using precooked or ready-to-eat food as soon as possible and not storing the product in the refrigerator beyond the use-by date. Hot dogs, according to the USDA, should remain no longer than 1 week after the packaging is opened. Moreover, luncheon and deli meat should not remain for longer than 2 weeks when factory-sealed and no more than three to five days for meat sliced at a local deli.
Correction: The photo cutline and article headline stated earlier that four had died at the time the article was written. The correct number is one.
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