Listeria is a foodborne illness that can be quite hard to detect. It is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States of America. The bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, is found in soil, water and plants. Unfortunately, it is a very hard bacteria to detect.
Many foodborne illnesses can be detected by the human senses. You can see the mould on some foods or smell the sourness of something going putrid. Listeria cannot be detected with the mere human senses.
The short answer to the question
No, you can not detect Listeria easily if at all.
The only way to truly avoid it is by removing foods that are linked to this pathogen. Foods such as raw meat, unpasteurised dairy products and ready-to-eat food, such as deli meat, hot dogs and soft cheeses are notorious for carrying this bacteria.
Your normal food poisoning symptoms can occur if you have the bacteria in you. Such things like fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Listeriosis can also cause headaches, stiff neck, confusion and loss of balance. Moreover, meningitis, which are infections of the brain and spinal cord, and septicemia which are bacteria in the bloodstream, are the more serious symptoms that can result from listeriosis. Finally, pregnant women and the elderly are most susceptible to the bacteria.
Have you come up with a new game plan to prevent Listeria in your food business or at home? What do you need to avoid to prevent it?
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