The number of people affected by a Listeria outbreak in Spain has jumped to almost 150. The outbreak is linked to chilled roast pork. Previously 44 people were reported to be sick, with half of them treated in hospital.

Health authorities are investigating the illnesses with most in Andalusia but Asturias, Extremadura, Madrid, Catalonia and Aragon also reporting patients. Normally there are about 300 infections by Listeria in Spain every year.

Spanish media reported a 90-year-old woman died and more than 50 people have needed hospital treatment.

Spanish food agency confirms details
The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) advised anyone that had a roasted meat product of the brand “La Mechá” made by Magrudis SL not to consume it. The product was marketed in whole pieces generally weighing more than 1-kilogram but varying by piece, and halves weighing less than 1-kilogram but variable according to each piece.

It is sold almost entirely in Andalusia. Some has been distributed in Madrid and Extremadura as well as a limited quantity in Castilla- La Mancha, Castilla y León and Tenerife. None has been sent outside of Spain.

The agency reported it was informed on Aug. 16 through the Spanish Coordinated System for Rapid Exchange of Information (SCIRI) from a notification by health authorities in Andalusia of an outbreak caused by Listeria monocytogenes linked to eating this meat.

Health officials in Andalusia extended the alert to include the following “La Mechá” branded products: Chicharron Andaluz, Lomo Casero Al Pimenton and Lomo Al Jerez distributed in Andalusia and Madrid and Lomo Al Pimenton distributed only in Andalusia.

On Aug. 5, an outbreak of food poisoning was declared in a town in Seville and food samples were taken for analysis. Other outbreaks were reported between Aug. 12 and 14 and samples were also analyzed.

On Aug. 14 a lab in Seville reported a positive result of Listeria monocytogenes from the “La Mechá” branded meat, which is prepared by a company in the municipality of Seville.

Products with the “La Mechá” brand that have been manufactured since May are considered affected since the expiration date is three months.

Two babies lost
Health authorities of Andalusia inspected the manufacturing company and ordered the withdrawal of affected meat from the market.

FACUA-Consumers in Action, a consumer group, claimed two women have lost their babies as part of the outbreak. One woman from Seville had to have an abortion in the last trimester of pregnancy and the other lost her baby at the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville. The organization reported the implicated meat is sold at retail but also in small food stores, butchers, supermarkets as well as being served at catering establishments.

It can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop. Symptoms of infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness.

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses and life-threatening infections. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

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