Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

An outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area or season. An outbreak may occur in a restricted geographical area, or may even extend over several countries. The outbreak may last for few days, weeks or even several years. There have been many Listeria outbreaks reported in the world. In most of these outbreaks the vehicles has been dairy products, poultry, raw fruits or vegetables or processed food. The largest outbreak was seen in South Africa from 2017 to 2018 April, there were 999 cases with 191 deaths.

Listeria Outbreaks Throughout The Year

There have been many listeria outbreaks reported in the world. Let us see when and where these Listeria outbreaks happened and what the vehicle for the outbreak was.

USA

  • 2002 – Turkey Deli Meat

    Multistate listeria monocytogenes outbreak associated with turkey deli meat

    There were 54 cases with listeriosis, out of those 8 deaths and three fetal deaths reported in nine states.

  • 2011 – Cantaloupe

    Multistate outbreak of listeria monocytogenes associated with cantaloupes grown in Jensen Farms in Granada, Colorado. 

    15 cases of listeriosis were reported in four states. No deaths.

  • 2012- Ricotta Cheese

    Multistate outbreak of listeriosis associated with Frescolina Marte Brand Ricotta Salata Cheese

    22 cases with the infection and four deaths reported in 13 states and the District of Columbia of the outbreak.

  • 2013 – Hispanic-style cheeses

    Listeria Outbreak was associated with a variety of Amigo, Mexicana and Santa Rosa De Lima cheeses.

    7 cases with the infection and one death in California.

  • 2014 – Caramel Apples

    Listeria outbreak related to caramel apples at the apple-packing facility

    There were 35 cases with seven death reported in 12 states.

  • 2015 – Bluebell

    This outbreak of listeria was linked to Blue Bell Ice Cream

    10 people in four states were infected and 3 people died.

  • 2016 – CRF frozen foods

    The listeria outbreak was linked to CRF frozen foods

    9 people were infected with one death in four states.

  • 2017 – Vulto Creamery

    This listeria outbreak was associated with soft raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery in New York. There were 8 cases and 2 death reported in four states.

Canada

  • 2008 – Processed meat

    The outbreak of listeria was associated with processed meat from Maple Leaf Foods

    57 were infected and 22 died during the outbreak.

Portugal

  • 2012 – Cheese

    A cheese was identified as the vehicle for the listeria outbreak

    30 people were infected and 11 died.

Denmark

  • 2013-2014 – Rolled pork sausages

    Danish authorities identified rolled pork sausages from a meat producer near Copenhagen.

    There were 41 cases with 17 deaths among those listeria cases.

European Union (EU)

  • 2015-2018 April – Frozen Corn

    Five European Union countries Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom had Listeria infection from frozen corn.

    There were 32 infected cases with six deaths.

South Africa

  • 2017-2018

    This was the largest Listeria outbreak in the world. Officials have identified a meat product known as "polony" from the Enterprise Food-Production facility in Polokwane in South Africa as the source of the outbreak.

    There have been 999 cases of listeriosis with 191 deaths.

What Is An Outbreak?

An outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in excess of what would normally be expected in a defined community, geographical area or season. An outbreak may occur in a restricted geographical area, or may even extend over several countries. The outbreak may last for few days, weeks or even several years. 

A single case of a communicable disease long absent from a population or caused by an agent (e.g. bacterium or virus) not previously recognized in that community or area, or the emergence of a previously unknown disease, may also constitute an outbreak.

Disease outbreaks are usually caused by an infection, which is transmitted through person-to-person contact, animal-to-person contact, or from the environment or other media.

Outbreaks may also occur following exposure to chemicals or to radioactive materials. Occasionally the cause of an outbreak is unknown, even after thorough investigation.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 11, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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