Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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1998 Multitate Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Bil Mar Foods Ready-to-eat Meats

Molecular subtyping helped to identify Listeria monocytogenes cases linked to a nationwide outbreak. Cases were eventually identified in 24 states. An initial case-control study implicated meat frankfurters, or hot dogs, as the likely source. A food trace back led to Bil Mar Foods company. The outbreak abruptly ended following a manufacturer issued recall. Illness onsets ranged from January, 1998, to February, 1999. Most illness onsets occurred between August, 1998, and January, 1999. There was evidence that demolition of a refrigeration unit, in early July, 1998, increased environmental contamination in the meat production plant. The same strain of Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from hot dog and deli meat samples from the consumers and from unopened packages. Cooking destroys listeria bacteria; consumers may not have cooked the meats before eating.

  • Outbreak began:
  • January 1998
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, New York, Minnesota, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Rhode Island, Vermont, Georgia
  • Organism(s):
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Luncheon Meat and Sausage, Hot dog, Frankfurters, Deli Meats
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • PulseNet pattern number GXA16.0002; ApaI (GXA12.002, GX6A12.0003, GX6A12.0057)
  • Location(s):
  • Many
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Grillmaster, Hygrade, Ball Park, Bil Mar, Bryan 3-lb Club Pack, Bryan Bunsize, Laralee Home Roast, Mr. Turkey, Sara Lee Deli Meat
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 101
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Unknown
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • N/A
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • N/A
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 101
  • Any Deaths:
  • Yes
  • Number Dead:
  • 21

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