The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has named bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs produced by a Gainesville, Ga., facility as a possible culprit in a multistate Listeria outbreak that’s resulted in at least one fatality. The health agency said that the Almark Foods eggs were packaged in plastic pails for nationwide use by foodservice operators have not been recalled and that those sold directly to consumers are not included in the advisory at this time.
However, it has cautioned retailers and foodservice operations against “selling, serving or using these eggs to make other food products.” It also advised pregnant women and those at high-risk for Listeria infections, including adults over the age of 65, against consuming any store-bought hard-boiled eggs or products containing hard-boiled eggs, such as egg salad.
The CDC advised consumers to throw the products away regardless of where they were purchased or the use-by date. It also advised high-risk consumers to confirm with stores or restaurants that the hard-boiled eggs being used in a product was not produced by Almark Foods before purchasing or consuming the products.
Seven people across five states have been sickened in the outbreak, including four who required hospitalization and one person who died in Texas. Symptoms of Listeria vary, but pregnant women may experience fever and other flu-like symptoms, but the infection can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. Others who are not pregnant may develop a headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, fever and muscle aches.
The CDC said its investigation is ongoing.