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More meat products recalled as officials extend listeriosis alert

The premises of the firm Magrudis where the outbreak originated.
The premises of the firm Magrudis where the outbreak originated. / EFE
  • With more than 200 cases of infection, the outbreak has so far claimed the lives of three people in Seville; five women have suffered miscarriages

Spanish health officials extended their listeriosis warning on Thursday, recalling all the meat products made by the firm Magrudis, under the brand La Mechá.

The recent outbreak of the illness caused by the Listeria bacteria, the worst ever recorded in Spain, was traced earlier this month to a type of processed pork known as ‘carne mechada’ sold under the La Mechá brand of a Seville-based company, Magrudis.

On Wednesday regional Health minister Jesús Aguirre said that some 5,800 kilos of processed meat thought to be contaminated with the bacteria had been recalled by the authorities in Andalucía. Now the brand’s chorizo and blood sausage have joined the list of pork products that have been taken off the shelves.

The move comes just a day after the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, said that the outbreak of listeriosis had passed its worst, celebrating the first 24 hours with no new cases reported. The absence of diagnoses was shortlived, though, as a new case was confirmed in Seville on Thursday.

Since the alarm was raised on 15 August, 204 people, the vast majority in Andalucía, have been found to be affected in Spain by the Listeria bacteria. Of the 197 cases in Andalucía, 162 are in the province of Seville.

So far three deaths have been confirmed to have been caused by the outbreak; the first was a 90-year-old woman on 19 August, and a 74-year-old woman on Tuesday. It was confirmed on Friday that the death of a 72-year-old man, a patient with terminal cancer, was caused by the bacteria.

Five pregnant women have suffered miscarriages since the outbreak; another gave birth prematurely, at 33 weeks.

By Wednesday the number of hospitalised patients had gone down to 77, including 28 pregnant women. Four people were in intensive care.