10 Jan 2022 | 2 min Read
Author | 1 Articles
Listeria infection is a bacterial foodborne illness commonly caused due to the consumption of ready-to-eat refrigerated foods. Foodborne listeriosis is relatively rare but is a serious disease with high fatality rates (20%–30%) compared with other food-borne microbial pathogens. Fever, muscle ache, diarrhea, nausea, chills, headache, back pain, and fatigue are some of the common symptoms of Listeria infection. This bacterium can enter the bloodstream and infect the developing fetus through the placenta. Listeria infection during pregnancy can lead to serious conditions like; miscarriage, stillbirth, meningitis, or preterm labor.
Consumption of food items contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes leads to Listeria infection. This bacterium is commonly found in soil, water as well as animals. The most common 6 food items that carry these bacteria and should be avoided to prevent Listeria infection include:
Uncooked meat and animal products are often seen to carry these bacteria. Also, Listeria monocytogenes can grow really fast at refrigeration temperature.
Unpasteurized/raw milk is one of the riskiest food items. It carries several germs including that one that can cause Listeria infection.
Soft cheese is made out of unpasteurized/ raw milk. Soft cheese is known to harbor germs and a high risk of Listeria infection.
Since these bacteria are found in soil, consuming unwashed raw vegetables and fruits can increase the risk of Listeria infection. Underground growing and low-lying vegetables and fruits like; beets, potatoes, zucchini, carrot, etc. easily get contaminated with these bacteria from the soil.
Besides these 4 foods, avoid consuming food that may be packaged in unsanitary or unhygienic conditions, cold processed dairy products (ice creams), refrigerated or stored smoked seafood, and hot dogs or the products harvested from soil contaminated with L. monocytogenes.