A health alert in the wake of the growing Meijer produce recall concerns dozens of packaged items that may be contaminated with Listeria.
It affects 35 different items across 6 states.
Listeria is a harmful bacteria and can cause a serious infection called Listeriosis.
The CDC reports roughly 1,600 people get sick annually from this germ and about 1 in 5 die.
Certain populations are more at risk which include elderly folks, newborns and those with compromised immune systems.
Severe infections of the brain and bloodsteam can develop in some people. Also there’s danger for women who are pregnant. Listeria can cross the placenta and affect the developing baby, causing premature labor, a miscarriage, or stillbirth.
First of all, there’s been no reported illnesses linked to the food products. But the incubation period is 3 to 70 days. If you feel fine you likely don’t need treatment.
However it’s important to tell your doctor you ate recalled food if you get a fever and have muscles aches. You may also have nausea or diarrhea.
Listeria can hide in many different kinds of foods. But to help you stay safe here are my prescriptions:
- Listeria can grow in cold environments like in your fridge. To kill it, foods need to be cooked to a safe temperature using a food thermometer.
- If eating deli meats or hot dogs, be sure to heat them till their steaming hot first. And don’t let juice from their packages get onto other foods or surfaces.
- Avoid raw unpasteurized milk, soft cheeses, ice cream and yogurt. Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria including listeria.
- Always wash your hands before, during and after handling food. And clean surfaces including utensils and cutting boards with hot soapy water.
Listeriosis can be diagnosed with a lab test using a blood sample. It’s treated with antibiotics.
But unless you’re in the high-risk category, most heathy people will not need treatment and your symptoms will be gone usually within a few weeks.