Listeria Warning: 3 Deaths Linked to Ice Cream Machines
Three individuals have died and three others have been hospitalized after consuming milkshakes contaminated with Listeria bacteria from a restaurant in Tacoma, Washington.
Health officials have determined that the outbreak is linked to improperly cleaned ice cream machines at a Frugals restaurant. Listeria infection can manifest up to 70 days after consumption, and the implicated machines were in use until August 7th.
Genetic testing confirmed that the bacteria in the milkshakes matched the strain responsible for the hospitalizations.
Symptoms of Listeria infection include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems, headache, confusion, and convulsions. The bacteria can lead to listeriosis, a potentially serious illness. Pregnant women, older adults, infants, and individuals with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to severe outcomes from Listeria infection.
The disease causes about 1,600 cases of listeriosis in the US each year, with around 260 resulting in death. Pregnant women, especially Hispanic women, are at a heightened risk of contracting listeriosis.