Pregnant women and their unborn babies, with their weakened immune systems, are particularly susceptible to listeriosis. Listeriosis is an infection caused by consuming foods that are contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a harmful bacterium. This illness is fairly rare, but can sometimes lead to meningitis, infections of the blood and various other health complications that have the potential to be life-threatening.
Symptoms associated with listeriosis vary from person to person. While some may experience flu-like symptoms such as headaches, mental confusion, dizziness and/or gastrointestinal problems, others may not experience or show signs of any symptoms whatsoever.
During pregnancy, listeriosis can cause placental infections, infections of the amniotic fluid, possible miscarriage , preterm birth and/or stillbirth. Pregnant women can pass on the infection to their babies during labour or birth should the mother’s cervix, vagina or gastrointestinal tract be habouring the bacterium. Babies born with listeriosis can suffer from blood infections, fever, respiratory problems and various infections of the central nervous system including meningitis. Some babies with listeriosis may not show signs of the infection until several weeks after birth.
- 1) Avoid eating sprouts
- 2) Wash all produce thoroughly
- 3) Clean all sponges and dishcloths regularly
- 4) Don’t let foods idle, especially those with limited shelf lives
- 5) Check the temperature of your fridge and freezer. Refrigerators should be set between 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers should be below 0
- 6) Avoid unpasteurized products including milk, soft cheeses and some juices
- 7) Avoid deli meats unless heated
- 8) Cook all meat, poultry and fish thoroughly
- 9) Reheat leftovers thoroughly