A nationwide listeria outbreak connected to deli meat and cheese has killed one person and left another 13 hospitalized, including a pregnant woman who lost her child, federal officials said Wednesday.

In all, 16 people across six states fell ill from the deadly bacteria, including seven in New York, the Centers for Control Disease and Prevention said. The remaining cases were reported in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota, California and Maryland, which recorded the only fatal case, the CDC said.

Samples from the sick people were collected from April 2021 through the end of September of this year.

At least two illnesses were traced back to eateries in the Big Apple: a NetCost Market deli in Brooklyn and another NetCost Market in Staten Island, the CDC said.

“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses,” the CDC explained. “This is because some people recover without medical care and are not tested for listeria.”

Listeria is a serious infection caused by a germ that mostly affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

Of the 13 people who provided ethnicity information, 11 were of Eastern European descent or speak Russian, the federal agency said.

Deli meats
Deli meats and cheese are tied to the outbreak.
Getty Images/EyeEm

The ages of those infected ranged from 38 to 92 and more than half of them are men, the CDC reported.

Of the seven New Yorkers who contracted the deadly illness, five bought sliced deadly meat or cheese from at least one NetCost Market. The other cases stemmed from purchased deli meats or cheese in different states, health officials said.

Last year, New York state and city health officials identified strains of listeria at NetCost Markets in Brooklyn and Staten Island, according to the CDC.

The Brooklyn location temporarily and voluntarily closed in 2021 and the deli underwent a deep scrub before it reopened with no trace of listeria, the CDC said.

But in September 2022, the outbreak strain was again discovered at that same NetCost Market deli, which deep cleaned its facilities and the strain was again not identified, the agency said.

The CDC noted the most recent reported illness from that NetCost Market occurred in October 2021.

“Investigators do not believe that NetCost Market delis are the only source of illnesses because some sick people in the outbreak did not shop at a NetCost Market,” the CDC stated.

“A contaminated food likely introduced the outbreak strain of listeria into delis in multiple states.”

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