Packaged Hard-Boiled Eggs Linked to Deadly Listeria Outbreak Across 5 States, CDC Warns
Bulk hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods have not been recalled
Hard-boiled eggs sold in bulk packaging are believed to be linked to a multi-state listeria outbreak that has killed one person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Federal health officials issued a food safety alert on Wednesday warning the public not to serve, sell, use or consume bulk hard-boiled eggs produced at the Almark Foods facility in Gainesville, Ga.
The eggs — which were peeled, hard-boiled, and packaged in plastic pails of various sizes at the facility — may have been sold to food service operators and restaurants to make ready-to-eat dishes such as egg salad and deviled eggs. Though the product has not been recalled, manufacturers are recommended to dispose of any foods made from the eggs regardless of its expiration date.
Four of the seven people reported with listeria infections have been hospitalized, according to the CDC, and one has died from the outbreak. Cases of infection have been reported in Texas, Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
In an investigation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency found that four of the people who fell ill reported eating hard-boiled eggs in deli salads from grocery stores and restaurants.
While the CDC believes they were infected through the consumption of foods made from bulk packaged eggs contaminated with listeria, the agency said in their advisory that Almark Foods branded eggs sold directly to consumer, or any other brands of hard-boiled eggs, were not included in the alert.
The advisory also did not apply to eggs hard-boiled by retailers and restaurants, or homemade products made with those eggs.
The CDC cautioned consumers to confirm with stores or restaurants that they do not use hard-boiled eggs produced and packed in bulk by Almark Foods before purchase or consumption.
RELATED VIDEO: General Mills Recalls 5 Lb. Bags of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour Over Salmonella Fears
According to the FDA, listeria monocytogenesis can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people and others with compromised immune systems. While healthy individuals may experience short-term symptoms such as a high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, a listeria infection can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
A rep for Almark Foods could not be reached by PEOPLE, though a spokesperson for the food processor told CNN in a statement, “It’s important to note that the product in question was shipped to food service distributors, restaurants and other wholesale outlets and does not involve eggs in packages on shelves for consumer purchase at retail stores.”