Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Serving High-Risk Foods in a High-Risk Setting: Survey of Hospital Food Service Practices after an Outbreak of Listeriosis in a Hospital

  • Carolyn Cokes (a1), Anne Marie France (a1) (a2), Vasudha Reddy (a1), Heather Hanson (a1), Lillian Lee (a3), Laura Kornstein (a3), Faina Stavinsky (a4) and Sharon Balter (a1)...
Abstract
Background and Objectives.

Prepared ready-to-eat salads and ready-to-eat delicatessen-style meats present a high risk for Listeria contamination. Because no foodborne illness risk management guidelines exist specifically for US hospitals, a survey of New York City (NYC) hospitals was conducted to characterize policies and practices after a listeriosis outbreak occurred in a NYC hospital.

Methods.

From August through October 2008, a listeriosis outbreak in a NYC hospital was investigated. From February through April 2009, NYC's 61 acute-care hospitals were asked to participate in a telephone survey regarding food safety practices and policies, specifically service of high-risk foods to patients at increased risk for listeriosis.

Results.

Five patients with medical conditions that put them at high risk for listeriosis had laboratory-confirmed Listeria monocytogenes infection. The Listeria outbreak strain was isolated from tuna salad prepared in the hospital. Fifty-four (89%) of 61 hospitals responded to the survey. Overall, 81% of respondents reported serving ready-to-eat deli meats to patients, and 100% reported serving prepared ready-to-eat salads. Pregnant women, patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, and patients undergoing chemotherapy were served ready-to-eat deli meats at 77%, 59%, and 49% of hospitals, respectively, and were served prepared ready-to-eat salads at 94%, 89%, and 73% of hospitals, respectively. Only 4 (25%) of 16 respondents reported having a policy that ready-to-eat deli meats must be heated until steaming hot before serving.

Conclusions.

Despite the potential for severe outcomes of Listeria infection among hospitalized patients, the majority of NYC hospitals had no food preparation policies to minimize risk. Hospitals should implement policies to avoid serving high-risk foods to patients at risk for listeriosis.

Copyright
Corresponding author
125 Worth Street, CN22a, Room 218, New York, NY 10013-4089 (vreddy@health.nyc.gov)
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

2. SJ Walker , P Archer , J Banks . Growth of Listeria monocytogenes at refrigeration temperatures. J Appi Bacteriol 1990;68:157162.

3. J Lunden , M Miettinen , T Autio , H Korkeala . Persistent Listeria monocytogenes strains show enhanced adherence to food contact surface after short contact times. J Food Prot 2000;63(9):12041207.

4. SL Burnett , EL Mertz , B Bennie , T Ford , A Starobin . Growth or survival of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat products and combination deli salads during refrigerated storage. J Food Sci 2005;70(6):M301M304.

5. C-A Hwang , BS Marmer . Growth of Listeria monocytogenes in egg salad and pasta salad formulated with mayonnaise of various pH and stored at refrigerated and abuse temperatures. Food Microbiol 2007;24:211218.

6. E Ryser , E Marth , eds. Listeria, listeriosis, and food safety. 3rd ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2007.

8. P Gerner-Smidt , S Ethelberg , P Schiellerup , et al.Invasive listeriosis in Denmark 1994-2003: a review of 299 cases with special emphasis on risk factors for mortality. Clin Microbiol Infect 2005;11(8):618624.

11. BG Gellin , CV Broome . Listeriosis. JAMA 1989;261(9):13131320.

13. A Safdar , D Armstrong . Listeriosis in patients at a comprehensive cancer center, 1955-1997. Clin Infect Dis 2003;37:359364.

14. J Fishman , R Rubin . Infection in organ-transplant recipients. N Engl J Med 1998;338(24):17411751.

15. J Chang , R Powles , J Mehta , N Paton , J Treleaven , B Jameson . Listeriosis in bone marrow transplant recipients: incidence, clinical features, and treatment. Clin Infect Dis 1995;21(5):12891290.

16. L Mascola , F Sondilo , J Neal , K Iwakoshi , R Weaver . Surveillance of listeriosis in Los Angeles County, 1985-1986: a first year's report. Arch Intern Med 1989;149(7):15691572.

17. F Angulo , D Swerdlow . Bacterial enteric infections in persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Clin Infect Dis 1995;21(suppl 1):S84S93.

18. J Graham , S Lanser , G Bignardi , S Pedler , V Hollyoak . Hospital-acquired listeriosis. J Hosp Infect 2002;51:136139.

20. L Graves , B Swaminathan . PulseNet standardized protocol for subtyping Listeria monocytogenes by macrorestriction and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Int J Food Microbiol 2001;65(1-2):5562.

21. BJ McCabe-Sellers , SE Beattie . Food safety: emerging trends in foodborne illness surveillance and prevention. J Am Diet Assoc 2004;104:17081717.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 16 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 98 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 28th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.