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The latest Listeria outbreak is a warning to consumers to be responsible for the safety of their own food.
Listeriosis, caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, is one of many food-borne illnesses that have made headlines in Canadian newspapers. (E.coli and Salmonella are other examples of harmful bacteria found in food.)
Listeria is more likely to cause death than other bacteria that cause food poisoning - particularly in high-risk individuals like the elderly, children, and pregnant women.
Unlike most bacteria, Listeria can survive and grow on foods being stored in the refrigerator. Moreover, foods that are contaminated with this bacterium look, smell, and taste normal.
The good news is that Listeria can be killed by proper cooking procedures. Here are some food safety tips to put into practice to avoid listeriosis:
Symptoms of listeriosis include vomiting, nausea, cramps, diarhhea, severe headaches or muscle aches, and fever. In some cases, these symptoms can escalated into meningitis encephalitis (an infection of the brain or its surrounding tissues) and/or septicemia (blood poisoning).
Contact your physician immediately if you think you have listeriosis.
(Source: Health Canada, 2005. Available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/listeria-eng.php)
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.
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