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Article Summary

Multiple people became sick with Listeriosis after eating at a China Buffet restaurant in Alexandria, Minnesota in February of 2020. One of the sick was a previously healthy teenager.

At this time, the source of the Listeria is not known, but the Minnesota Department of Health did determine that the two cases were genetically identical, meaning they ultimately came from the same source of contamination.

Listeria has a long incubation period of up to 70 days, so it is possible that many more cases will become known in the coming weeks.

OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers are continuing to investigate this developing outbreak, and this page will update as further information becomes available.

Full Article

Listeria Outbreak tied to China Buffet in Alexandria, Minnesota

Multiple people became sick with Listeriosis after eating at a China Buffet restaurant in Alexandria, Minnesota in February of 2020. One of the sick was a previously healthy teenager.

At this time, the source of the Listeria is not known, but the Minnesota Department of Health did determine that the two cases were genetically identical, meaning they ultimately came from the same source of contamination.

The two known cases both ate at the restaurant on February 15th, 2020, but the did not become immediately sick. This is common with Listeria, which has an incubation period of up to 70 days.

What is Listeria?

Listeriosis is a serious infection usually contracted from food contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes. Anyone can contract this bacterial infection, but pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and individuals with compromised immune systems are most at risk.

Listeriosis can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, as it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery. According to the CDC, Listeriosis causes a fetal loss in about 20% of cases. Newborns can also suffer a life-threatening infection. The CDC reports newborn death occurs in about 3% of cases. When a pregnant woman notices the symptoms of Listeriosis, it is important to seek medical care immediately to protect the pregnancy.

Individuals with weak immune systems and the elderly are more likely to develop severe infections in the bloodstream or brain, which can be fatal. Listeriosis can also affect other parts of the body, including the bones and joints.

Severe Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics. Prompt treatment of severe symptoms is important and dramatically reduces the risk of more severe complications.

Common Symptoms of Listeria

Listeriosis symptoms can vary dramatically from person to person. In less serious cases, the infection may remain in the gut and cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, however the Listeria bacteria will spread beyond the gut, This is known as invasive listeriosis. When Listeria spreads to the nervous system, individuals can experience:

  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Changes in alertness
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Convulsions
  • Sensitivity to light

Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical care right away. These can be signs of bacterial meningitis, which can cause severe complications, disabilities, and death.

Contact us for more information

OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers is a national food safety law firm and offers free consultations to anybody potentially impacted by this outbreak. Listeria lawyers Ryan Osterholm and Brendan Flaherty have represented people sickened by Listeria throughout the country, and can your questions and help you pursue compensation.

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An over-the-counter medication caused severe kidney damage to multiple users

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A pregnant woman contracted a Listeria infection from contaminated fruit and passed the infection to her child

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