The Ministry of Health in Israel believes it has pinpointed the source of a Listeria outbreak in the country, naming meat products as the cause.

More than 30 cases have been reported to the agency and at least one death is linked to the outbreak, which has mostly affected the southern region among the Bedouin community. The Ministry of Health warned it was a major spread of the disease in terms of the number of cases and geographical scope.

An epidemiological investigation involved the Health Bureaus of the Jerusalem and Southern Districts and the Ministry of Health National Food Services. The agency said products are manufactured by Almadain Food Products (Madco) Ltd. in Jerusalem.

In food sampling by the Southern District National Food Services, Listeria monocytogenes was found in “Jerusalem Deli Pastrami” and “Jerusalem deli smoked salami” sold in 200 and 400 grams packages from Almadain Food Products (Madco). The manufacturing date of the items is Oct. 8, 2018. The expiration date is Jan. 7, 2019.

Earlier this month, “Jerusalem Deli Pastrami” was recalled after sampling by the Food Service in the South district.

The Ministry of Health is currently trying to prevent marketing of Listeria contaminated products. The agency stressed the dangers of consuming recalled products and the importance of following this advice to prevent listeriosis among the populations at risk.

Almadain Food Products (Madco) said it had stopped production of these products until preventive and remedial measures are taken. The company withdrew the items and asked customers not to consume the products and return them to the business.

Listeriosis is the illness caused by having food contaminated with the pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, muscle aches, and nausea. The incubation period is typically between two and three weeks but can be up to 70 days.

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