here and now: listeriosis

We've seen and heard a lot about listeria in the news, affecting people throughout the world. 

What is it?

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Here and low: listeriosis

We've seen and heard a lot about listeria in the news, affecting people throughout the world. 


What is it?


Listeria monocytogenes is a pathogen that causes listeriosis, a severe gastrointestinal and neurological illness. Unlike most other foodborne pathogens, listeria can grow at proper refrigeration temperatures.
 

Listeriosis is a rare disease with a high mortality rate among sensitive subpopulations like infants, pregnant women, immunocompromised individuals and the elderly.


In the U.S. 43% of food poisoning deaths are attributed to listeria. Symptoms that typically occur after seven days can include muscle aches, fever, nausea, headache, a stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.


Foods can become contaminated with L. monocytogenes along the continuum from farm to fork, in the produce-growing environment, during processing, or during handling and preparation in retail establishments and consumers' kitchens. Sensitive items are: unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, deli meats and salads, raw meat and poultry, cooked eggs, cooked poultry, meat and seafood. 
 

The organism is killed by normal food pasteurization and cooking processes, and is typically sensitive to most sanitizers used at recommended rates. 

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