Prevent Listeriosis: 6 Steps to Take to Reduce Your Risk

Prevent Listeriosis

An Overview of Listeriosis Prevention

Listeriosis is a foodborne illness caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. It is a serious infection that can cause severe symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, and diarrhea, and can even lead to death if left untreated. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women, as it may cause miscarriage or stillbirth.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent listeriosis and reduce your risk. The following are 6 steps to take to reduce your risk of listeriosis.

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1. Practice Good Hygiene

One of the best ways to prevent listeriosis is to practice good hygiene. This includes washing your hands frequently with soap and water and avoiding contact with animal feces. Also, make sure to clean and disinfect any cutting boards or other surfaces that may have been exposed to food.

2. Avoid Undercooked Foods

Undercooked or raw foods may contain the bacteria that can cause listeriosis. Make sure to cook all meats, poultry, and seafood thoroughly. Also, avoid unpasteurized dairy products, ready-to-eat deli meats and seafood, precooked or ready-to-eat foods, and soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, or blue cheese.

3. Wash Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly before eating. This is especially important for produce that has a thicker skin, such as cantaloupe, apples, and oranges, as the bacteria may be present on the surface.

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4. Keep Refrigerated Food at the Right Temperature

Listeria can grow even in cool temperatures, so it’s important to make sure that refrigerators are kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below and freezers are kept at 0 degrees. Also, don’t let perishable foods sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.

5. Avoid Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination a leading cause of listeriosis. To help prevent, make sure to keep raw meats, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods. Additionally, use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw foods and cooked foods.

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6. Discard Expired Foods

Listeria can grow on food over time. Make sure to discard any food that is past its expiration date or has started to smell or look strange.

Conclusion

By following these steps, you can reduce your risk of listeriosis and keep you and your family safe. Be sure to practice good hygiene, avoid undercooked foods, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, keep food at the right refrigerator and freezer temperatures, prevent cross-contamination, and discard old foods.

Keywords: Listeriosis, Hygiene, Undercooked Foods, Fruits and Vegetables, Refrigerator, Freezer, Cross-Contamination, Discard

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