An outbreak of listeria that has sickened seven people across five states, including one who died, has the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warning consumers to throw out any store-bought hard-boiled eggs.
The CDC issued an alert Wednesday that hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods of Gainesville, Georgia, are contaminated with listeria and have resulted in four people being hospitalized and a person dying in Texas. A newborn was also infected while the mother was pregnant, but survived.
The product has not been recalled, but the CDC is warning against selling, serving, or using these eggs to make other food products. Illnesses have been reported in Texas, Maine, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Since consumers will not be able to tell if products they've purchased contain the Almark Foods eggs, the CDC is advising that those at higher risk for listeria infection, such as people on dialysis, cancer patients, pregnant women, and adults over 65, throw away any store-bought hard-boiled eggs or products like egg salad regardless of where they were purchased or their use-by date.
Listeria can cause miscarriages and it can infect newborns. It also can cause bloodstream infections and fatal bacterial meningitis. Anyone with a fever and stiff neck should seek medical attention right away.
The alert does not apply to eggs that have been hard-boiled at home or any products made with homemade hard-boiled eggs such as egg salad or deviled eggs.
The CDC also advises to wash and sanitize any refrigerators or freezers where the products were stored. Listeria bacteria can thrive in cold conditions that stop other bacteria, having prompted nationwide recalls on ice cream in the past.
The federal agency also urged consumers to ask restaurants if they know where their hard-boiled eggs come from and avoid eating any if the restaurant doesn't know or says they are from Almark Foods.