CDC Warns of Listeria Outbreak Linked with Packaged Hard-Boiled Eggs

United States health officials, this week, issued a food-safety alert warning that hard-boiled eggs from a processor in Georgia could be tied to a multi-state outbreak that has sickened at least six people; and resulted in one death, so far. 

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hard-boiled eggs were produced by a company called Almark Foods.  The listeria contamination has been linked to ill patients in Florida, Maine, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.  Texas appears to be the most affected by the alert with four hospitalization and the single noted death. 

The CDC notes explains, “Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that bulk hard-boiled eggs from Almart Foods are a likely source of this outbreak. Three of these people reported eating hard-boiled eggs in deli salads purchased from grocery stores and in salads eaten at restaurants.”

It is important to note that three infections from the outbreak strain of this particular pathogen were first identified in 2017. 

It should also be noted that the CDC probe is ongoing, as investigators continue to collect grocery and restaurant receipts from the places with known infections where some have reported eating the suspected hard-boiled eggs. 

In the meantime, authorities advise the products were packaged in plastic pails which were then sold to food-service establishments around the United States.  However, they also say it is not yet clear if the contaminated eggs are still being distributed.

Again, the investigation is ongoing. As such, the CDC advises consumers who are at higher risk for listeria infection—or are most vulnerable to its effects—should discard any store-bought hard-boiled eggs or any products they may have which contain hard-boiled eggs. This includes, of course, egg salad.  Furthermore, anyone who wants to purchase pre-packaged hard-boiled eggs should check the label to ensure they are not from Almark.  

Listeria infection is generally mild among healthy adults. Children and older adults, however, can be more vulnerable to its potentially severe effects, as well as anyone with a weak immune system.  Symptoms can include headache, fever, confusion, loss of balance, and muscle ache.