Almark Foods refers to itself as “the hard-boiled egg specialists,” and distributes egg products to stores and restaurants all over the country. Recently, the company recalled all products made in its Georgia facility due to possible contamination by a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes.
What Is Listeria?
Listeria monocytogenes is a species of pathogenic bacteria linked to a serious infection called listeriosis. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1,600 people are infected each year. Annually, 260 of these people succumb to the illness, which is most dangerous for pregnant women, newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.
For most people, listeria is a mild illness characterized by headaches, fatigue, fever, stiffness, muscle aches, and diarrhea, along with other traditional symptoms of food poisoning. For pregnant women, infections can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and other life-threatening complications in their newborns. Adults over the age of 65 and those with compromised immune systems can develop severe infections of the bloodstream and brain, causing sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis.
People get listeriosis when they eat foods contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Anyone who has eaten contaminated food products should seek medical care right away and monitor their health closely for the 2 months following consumption.
On Dec. 23, 2019, after a Listeria outbreak advisory from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Almark Foods recalled all hard-boiled egg products manufactured at its Gainesville, Georgia facility. The FDA investigated the outbreak on Dec. 26, providing a complete list of recalled products and tips for consumers. As a result, other companies recalled products associated with Almark eggs.
For now, the CDC recommends disposing of recalled hard-boiled egg products and disinfecting the areas where they were stored. If you purchase hard-boiled eggs from a store or restaurant, ask where they came from. You should not consume any eggs from Almark’s Georgia facility, nor should you eat any hard-boiled eggs from unknown sources. So far, 4 people have been hospitalized with listeriosis from hard-boiled eggs and one death has been reported in Texas.
When In Doubt, Throw It Out
If you are not sure whether or not you should consume a hard-boiled egg, egg-salad sandwich, or pre-made protein pack, do not eat it. Instead, throw it away, wash your hands, and clean anything the food came in contact with. If you are at a restaurant, do not order hard-boiled eggs or dishes containing hard-boiled eggs unless you know exactly where the eggs came from.
Until the outbreak is cleared, you are better off preparing hard-boiled eggs at home.
What If I Get Sick?
If you experience any symptoms of listeriosis, go to the doctor right away. If you believe you have eaten contaminated products, notify your physician, as well.
Listeriosis can be a serious disease. If you suffer complications, you may be entitled to compensation from Almark foods, along with the shop or restaurant that sold the recalled product. Listeriosis and other instances of food poisoning are handled under product liability, a field of law our attorneys are deeply experienced with.
For help after a listeriosis injury, please contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112, or request a free consultation online.