Prevention, Symptoms, At-risk People, and Treatment
Yesterday, Wawona Packing Co in California recalled stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines –anything with a pit) packaged at its warehouses between June 1 and July 22 on the suspicion that it may contain Listeria. A bold move, but a smart one that shows they have the consumers’ best interests at heart.
Listeria is particularly dangerous to children, pregnant women, and the elderly. According to the CDC, “general symptoms include, but are not limited to stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.”
HealthTap Doctor, Dr. Kevin Daus, says, “When you eat food contaminated with listeria, it can take up to several months for you to have symptoms. Most people are really sick when they seek help.”
The good news is that careful food handling practices can help reduce the risk of Listeria. The FDA’s recommendations include:
- Rinse raw produce, such as fruits and vegetables, thoroughly under running tap water before eating, cutting, or cooking.
- Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
- Dry the produce with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Separate uncooked meats and poultry from vegetables, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods.
Keeping refrigerators and kitchen environments clean is a vital part of listeria prevention. DO:
- Wash hands, knives, countertops, and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
- Be aware that Listeria monocytogenes can grow in foods in the refrigerator. Use an appliance thermometer, such as a refrigerator thermometer, to check the temperature inside your refrigerator. The refrigerator should be 40°F or lower and the freezer 0°F or lower.
- Clean up all spills in your refrigerator right away–especially juices from hot dog and lunch meat packages, raw meat, and raw poultry.
- Clean the inside walls and shelves of your refrigerator with hot water and liquid soap, then rinse.
And your meat thermometer will help determine if you meat has been cooked thoroughly. Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources, such as beef, pork, or poultry to a safe internal temperature. For a list of recommended temperatures for meat and poultry, visit the safe minimum cooking temperatures chart at FoodSafety.gov.
According to HealthTap doctors, Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can be fatal to those who are immunocompromised. If you think you may have listeriosis, get tested right away. Listeria can be diagnosed from a blood sample or a spinal fluid test.
For more information on Listeria, visit HealthTap for a detailed description, symptoms, tests and treatments. Got more questions? Ask a Question Today!