Listeria Infections (Listeriosis) By Linda Ratner RN

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria found in soil and water.  Unlike many other germs, Listeria can grow in the cold temperature of the refrigerator.  It can also be found in a variety of different foods such as raw milk products, fruits, vegetables, processed foods, meats and seafoods.

 

With the recent outbreak from contaminated cantaloupes here is some basic information that may be helpful.

 

Listeria is seldom fatal in patients with normal immune systems, but you can feel pretty bad with nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, headache, upset stomach and diarrhea. 

 

In severe cases, intravenous hydration and medications for nausea can be helpful. There are also several antibiotics that can help to treat the problem.  Probiotics, such as those found in some yogurts, and in Endomune, which is available at Impact Urgent Care will dramatically reduce the chances of complications from listeria, as they fortify the naturally occurring bacteria in our intestines to protect against listeria infection.

 

To reduce your risk of an infection

  • Wash your hands frequently. Especially before eating and after touching raw foods
  • Avoid raw milk and raw milk products
  • Avoid rare meat and seafood
  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Heat foods until they are steaming hot
  • Sanitize cooking areas well after food preparation