SHARE
COPY LINK

HEALTH

Seville woman becomes first victim in listeria outbreak blamed on meatloaf

One woman has died and at least 80 people have been struck down with listeria in what is thought to be the biggest outbreak of the infection ever recorded in Spain.

Seville woman becomes first victim in listeria outbreak blamed on meatloaf
The outbreak has been linked to La Mecha packet pork by Seville-based Magrudis. Photo: Facua

The first victim of the outbreak was confirmed on Tuesday lunchtime by health authorities in Andalusia who said a 90-year woman had died after being admitted in Seviille's Virgen del Rocio hospital with the listeria infection.

The bacteria has so far hospitalized 56 of those infected including 15 pregnant women, at least two of whom suffered miscarriages, said the Junta de Andalusia. Five victims are still being treated in intensive care.

A case has also been confirmed in Extremadura, and others are being investigated in Madrid and Girona, Castilla-La Mancha and Tenerife, prompting Spain's health minister, María Luisa Carcedo, to issuee a health warning on a national level.

Authorities are investigating whether a pork product sold by Sevilla-based Magrudis could be the source of the outbreak after several of those afflicted were found to have eaten it.  

The product under investigation is a packet meatload called ‘Mecha’, of which a batch of 2,000 are thought to be the source of the contamination.

A spokesman for the company told Spanish news agency EFE that the protocol had been followed to the letter after the contamination was discovered and that recalls had been put in place and an investigation launched into the possible source.

The Spanish consumer organisation FACUA warned that the outbreak could continue to grow as many people don’t show symptoms until between one and four weeks after consuming contaminated produce.

Although the product has been taken off supermarket shelves and the source investigated, FACUA warned that smaller stores may not have heeded the recall or that contaminated products could already have been bought and are in households awaiting consumption.

Listeria infection is rare and usually causes a mild illness in healthy people,  but those at highest risk of serious illness include pregnant women, their unborn children and newborns, adults 65 and over, and people with weakened immune systems.

The infection is caused by the bacteria listeria monocytogenes, which can grow in foods, especially soft cheese, unpasteurised milk, and smoked fish, which is why pregnant women are advised to avoid these. It can also grow on other food products, including salads, and can continue to replicate even when food is refrigerated at cold temperatures.

Two of the pregnant woman who contracted listeria suffered miscarriages, reported Facua; one on August 2nd in her 18th week of gestation, and another in her third trimestre. 

READ MORE: What is it that makes living in Spain so healthy?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOD & DRINK

These are Spain’s new Michelin-starred restaurants

The new 2023 Michelin Star guide for the best restaurants in Spain and Portugal has awarded new stars to 34 restaurants across Spain. Read on to discover which ones and where they are.

These are Spain's new Michelin-starred restaurants

En España se come bien (People eat well in Spain), you’ll hear many Spaniards proclaim. That’s coming from a country that’s not accustomed to singing its own praises on the global stage. 

Although these higher-than-average gastronomic standards apply to all types of bars and restaurants, when it comes to haute cuisine, Spain continues to be among the top five countries with the most Michelin-starred eateries, together with France, Japan, Italy and Germany.

On Tuesday November 22nd, Michelin revealed its newest restaurant selection of acclaimed Spanish restaurants during an event in the Spanish city of Toledo.

As of November 2022, two restaurants in Spain have been awarded the coveted three Michelin Star distinction.

Three have gone up to the two-star category and 29 restaurants have been given new one-star rankings.

Atrio in Cáceres (Extremadura region in western Spain) and Cocina Hermanos Torres in Barcelona have both earned the top award three-star prize, which is the highest award that can be given, and have joined the 13 other restaurants in Spain at this level.

According to the judges, Atrio won the distinction due to “its elegant and delicate dishes, prepared by chef Toño Pérez, who has shaken up local gastronomic traditions”. His menu focuses on Iberian pork and other products from Extremadura.

While in Barcelona, Cocina Hermanos Torres has been given the top award for “firing the imagination with every bite”. Chefs Sergio and Javier Torres have created “a magical space in which the gastronomic experience consistently seeks out the very best seasonal produce and exceeds foodies’ expectations, turning it into a dining extravaganza,” the judges said.

READ ALSO – REVEALED: Spain’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurants

Of the 2023 guide, International Director of Michelin Gwendal Poullennec said: “We were delighted to see how younger chefs are taking the lead and embarking on their own journeys, in many cases flying the flag of reinterpreted regional or fusion cuisines”.

“In turn, vegan options are gradually forging ahead on menus, something which was already occurring in other European countries,” he added. 

Below are the Spanish rankings for the 2023 guide, including the three stars awarded to Atrio and Cocina Hermanos Torres. 

Two stars

  • Deessa, Madrid
  • El Rincón de Juan Carlos, Adeje, Tenerife
  • Pepe Vieira, Serpe, Pontevedra

One star

  • Ababol, Albacete
  • Ajonegro, Logroño
  • Aleia, Barcelona
  • AlmaMater, Murcia
  • Alquimia-Laboratorio, Valladolid
  • Ancestral, Illescas
  • Arrea!, Santa Cruz de Campezo
  • Ceibe, Ourense
  • Cobo Evolución, Burgos
  • Código de Barra, Cádiz
  • Come, Barcelona
  • Enigma, Barcelona
  • Etxeko Ibiza, Es Canar, Ibiza
  • Ferpel, Ortiguera
  • Fusión19, Muro, Mallorca
  • Gente Rara, Zaragoza
  • Kaleja, Málaga
  • La Finca, Loja
  • Mont Bar, Barcelona
  • Monte, San Feliz
  • Montia, San Lorenzo de El Escorial
  • Oba, Casas-Ibáñez
  • O’Pazo, Padrón
  • Ravioxo, Madrid
  • San-Hô, Adeje, Tenerife
  • Slow & Low, Barcelona
  • Tabaiba, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
  • Ugo Chan, Madrid
  • Zuara Sushi, Madrid

The Michelin Guide also handed out special awards to three different chefs.

The Young Chef Award for 2023 went to Almería-born chef Cristóbal Muñoz, who at age 31, heads up the kitchens at Ambivium in Peñafiel, Castilla y León.

The Chef Mentor Award for 2023 was given to a well-known name in the world of Spanish gastronomy – Joan Roca, who together with his brothers turned El Cellar de Can Roca in Girona, Catalonia into one of the best and most famous restaurants in the world.

Finally, the Michelin Service Award for 2023 was presented to Toni Gerez from Castell de Peralada, also in Catalonia. As the restaurant manager and sommelier, he “excels in customer-facing roles, in particular, when presenting his marvellous cheese cart that goes from table to table,” explained the judges.

In total, the 2023 Guide lists 1,401 restaurants throughout Spain, Portugal and Andorra. Out of these, 13 have three Michelin Stars, 41 have two Michelin Stars and 235 were awarded one Michelin Star. 

SHOW COMMENTS