Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared that pregnant women are approximately 10 times more likely to become infected with listeriosis than other healthy individuals. It is also estimated that 1 out of 6 of all Listeria cases occur in expectant mothers.
Listeria Monocytogenes is a dangerous bacterium most often found in pre-prepared refrigerated foods such as dairy, poultry, seafood, meat, and unpasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk products. The symptoms experienced by adults from Listeriosis often include diarrhea or an upset stomach, chills, fever, stiff neck, confusion, and dizziness, and can take a couple days or even weeks to appear.
Listeria can also be fatal at times for the mother. Most commonly however, infected pregnant women do not experience symptoms and unknowingly give it to their child. Listeriosis can lead to premature birth, delivery or a low-weight infant, or even death. Babies whom become infected with Listeriosis later are known to develop many serious conditions such as impairments of the brain, heart or kidney, paralysis, seizures, intellectual disability, and blindness. Listeria Monocytogenes can also cause meningitis and blood infections in newborns.
While the preceding information is alarming, prevention of Listeriosis is possible and incredibly simple! As one National Food Poisoning Lawyer has stated, “Listeria Monocytogenes poses a significant risk to expectant mothers, but by storing refrigerated products correctly and carefully selecting fresh foods, Listeriosis can be easily prevented.” The following tips are useful for the prevention of infection with Listeria Monocytogenes.
- Refrigerators should be kept at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, and the freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit maximum.
- Within two hours of consumption or preparation, refrigerate or freeze leftovers, perishables and prepared food.
- Use pre-prepared foods such as meat, poultry and seafood as soon as possible.
- Do not consume luncheon meats, deli meats, or hot dogs unless reheated to a steaming state.
- Soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Panela and Feta should be avoided.
- Do not eat refrigerated meat spreads, smoked seafood or raw unpasteurized products.
See a personal healthcare provider if experiencing any of the afore-mentioned symptoms, or for more information on Listeriosis.