Friday, September 30, 2011

Simple Steps to Avoid Listeria

Listeriosis, an infection obtained from eating foods tainted by a bacterium called listeria monocytogenes, is dubbed as the leading cause of food-borne outbreak in the US for almost a decade now. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent statistics on listeriosis case, 13 people have already been killed and more than 73 were still infected.

The bacterium listeria monocytogenes is found in both soil and water. The disease causing bacterium travels through the soil and manure, which causes contamination on root crops vegetables. The recent listeria outbreak in the US has been traced that the contaminated cantaloupes produced by Jensen Farms in Colorado were blamed for the deaths of 13 people and illnesses of 73 other people. So the department of health strictly warned the consumers to be cautious when buying melons and verify them if they comes from Jensen Farms. But aside from root crops and vegetables, animals can also carry the bacterium. Hence; there is a big possibility that the meat and dairy products from these animals could also be tainted.

Exposure to listeriosis can be prevented if everyone will only take some precautions such as:
Avoid eating raw or partially cooked food from animal sources.
Wash the root crops, vegetables, and fruits thoroughly before storing, cooking or eating.
Avoid unpasteurized milk or those foods made from raw milk.
Use separate knives, utensils, and cutting boards for meat and vegetables.

Consume first perishable and ready-to-eat foods.
Ensure proper storage of food in the refrigerator; uncooked meat should be separated from vegetables and cooked foods.
Always wash hands before and after handling raw or uncooked foods.

By keeping these simple tips in your mind, your chances of acquiring listeria is definitely reduced.

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