How to Keep Your Family Safe From the Deadly Listeria Outbreak
Listeria is uncommon to most of us but it is a deadly condition. This is why you need to know what this illness is all about and how to prevent it.
Listeria is a kind of infection which is usually caused by consuming food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. According to the statistics, this illness is the 3rd leading cause of death due to food poisoning. The usual symptoms are fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
The Most Disturbing Case of Listeria Reported
The deadliest listeria outbreak in the U.S occurred in 2011 and it was attributed to contaminated cantaloupes which affected and sickened about 146 individuals. It resulted to 142 hospitalizations plus 33 deaths.
This reported listeria outbreak baffled people because it is the first recorded case associated with melons. The number of affected and the extent of devastation surpassed the previous outbreaks caused by contaminated unpasteurized cheeses and deli meats.
The most recent listeria outbreak recorded occurred on March 10, 2017 when cheeses were recalled due to reports of 6 people getting infected. These people are from 4 different states and all of them were hospitalized. Among the 6 infected, 2 people from Connecticut and Vermont died.
What Causes Listeria and How to Effectively Prevent It
Listeria causes are often some produce which comes in contact with contaminated soil and water where the bacteria thrive.
Below are some of the common listeria causes which you need to look out for:
- Vegetables in contact with soil or manure which is used as fertilizer
- Animals carrying the bacteria can come in contact with milk, meat and other dairy products
- Raw milk
- Processed food that may be contaminated after processing
Listeria prevention is mainly the proper and safe handling of food. Below are the various listeria prevention practices recommended by U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- When shopping, make sure that you bag raw poultry, meat, and fish separately from other food items. Then, immediately head home after shopping so you can immediately store your food.
- When you prepare your meals, make sure that you wash your hands before and after handling the food, especially raw meat, fish, and poultry.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with running water.
- Have separate chopping boards for fresh produce and raw poultry, meat, and seafood.
- Safely store food by refrigerating, freezing, or cooking them within 2 hours from the time of purchase.
- Keep your refrigerator clean and free from spills because listeria can still thrive even in a cold environment.
- Thoroughly cook food and use a thermometer. If you are reheating left-overs, set the temperature to at least 165°F.
Practicing listeria prevention methods will lower if not totally eliminate your risk of getting the infection. But don’t be too engrossed with all the dos and don’ts because this can eventually wear you out. Just be cautious and ensure that your family’s immune system is enhanced by eating more fruits and vegetables than meats.
It is also important to include vitamin and mineral supplements like Organic and Kosher Certified PURE Freeze Dried Açai Berry Powder Scoop for added nutrition.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.