Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Listeriosis Monocytogenes


Listeriosis Monocytogenes sounds like a mouthful doesn't it?
Well you don't need a mouthful of listeria bacterium to kill you as Canadians have found in the past week.
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A dozen deaths are now linked to the outbreak of a bacterial infection that prompted a nationwide recall of ready-to-eat meat, the Public Health Agency of Canada said yesterday.
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Maple Leaf Foods have shut a plant in Toronto, Ontario after an outbreak of this bacterial infection was linked back to their plant.
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"What is Listeria monocytogenes?
The bacterium which causes listeriosis in animals. It may also affect humans.
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What are the sources for human infection?
Soft cheese, ready-made salads, improperly cooked meats, direct contact with an infected animal.
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How does it get into food?
The bacterium is found in soil and water. Vegetables can become contaminated from the soil or from manure as fertilizer. It has been found in raw foods, such as uncooked meats, as well as processed foods that become contaminated after processing, such as cold cuts at the deli counter. Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking.
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What are the symptoms?
Fever, aches and pains, sore throat, abdominal pain. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions can occur. Symptoms appear within two to 30 days and up to 90 days after consuming contaminated food. Some infections result in death.
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Who is at risk?
The elderly, pregnant women, newborn babies, those with weakened immune systems are most at risk. Healthy adults and children occasionally get infected, but they rarely become seriously ill.
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How is it diagnosed and treated?
It is diagnosed by blood and urine tests. Treatment is with antibiotic drugs. There is no vaccine to prevent listeriosis.
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Minimizing your risk:
Frequently wash and disinfect the refrigerator.
Keep leftovers for a maximum of four days only.
Refrigerate or freeze perishable food, prepared food and leftovers within two hours.
Check the temperature in your refrigerator to make sure it is at 4C or colder.
Cook or boil foods such as hot dogs and poultry products until they are steaming hot.
Wash hands, knives and cutting boards after handling uncooked foods."
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Sources: Canadian Medical Association, Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, CDC
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The CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) recall notices with a link to a list of all the recalled meat can be found here.
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Bear((( )))

13 comments:

Rob said...

Bear, isn't this just awful. It's so scary to think it can take so long to manifest. Leaves one desperately trying to remember what you've eaten over the last weeks and over analysing every ache and pain.

Thanks for the useful info too.

Daryl said...

Horrible ... we've had similar outbreaks of tainted foods this year as well ..

Gotta be extremely careful!

:-Daryl

Kelly said...

What a wonderful and important post! Boy, it has sure made me stop and think about a lot of things! I don't know whether to through out my deli meat or not...

Sure am glad that you brought this to our attention and gave so many details and stats so that we can be more diligent with our preparation and leftovers! Great post!!!

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Lets not totallyi panic people, a little common sense tells us all the odds are in our favor, and like bear says, a modicum of cleanliness goes a long way. Afterall people have been eating soft cheeses,and lunchmeats for a pretty long time----this is not a new problem, just a better reported one. You have better odds of being struck by a car. Remain calm, once the factory that is the producer of this outbreak is burned to the grown it will be safe for us and democracy once again.---all toghether now lets sing that song from "Annie"---here we go---"The Sun will come out TOMORROW----" (I am going to go take my meds now)

Becky said...

I can't help but wonder if Listerine Mouthwash can help fight this thing as well!!! LOL - just kidding!

kjpweb said...

Great info! When I read the title, I thought, how will she be able to post that along with a bear!
But you did beautifully so!
You're pretty nifty with your bears!
And when important info goes along with it - the better!
Cheers, Klaus

JeanMac said...

Scary. We have had 6 deaths in our province.

Mental P Mama said...

It really is terrible...vigilance always pays off. That and laying off the bleu cheese for a while.

feistysideoffifty said...

Pretty scary stuff--but good to know. Thanks, Ms. Bear Naked for the research and the info!

P.S. Feisty is remaining botox free. :-)

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

No did not know that there was a Pickering and Whitby in Ontario Canada.

Thank you for your comments on my blog for thie weeks ABC WEDNESDAY "F"

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