Wednesday, August 1, 2012
ONION ALERT FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
As I predicted in an earlier blog, the Gills Onions recall is affecting more and more food retailers and producers who have used and these onion products for making a variety of food items. It just goes to show what a popular ingredient onions are. And, it also shows how most food producers hate that nasty task of chopping onions. Much easier to buy them already cleaned, chopped or sliced in huge, ready-to-use bags. Except, of course, when the onions turn out to be contaminated, in which case there are all kinds of problems.
Because these widely used Gills onions were found to carry the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, pregnant women are at particular risk. If you are pregnant, you are about 20 times more susceptible to getting Listeriosis than someone who is not. If you do become ill, you may just think it is the flu. And another problem is that symptoms may show up anywhere between 2 to 30 days after you have eaten Listeria-contaminated food. As a result, it may not be correctly diagnosed right away, even though a simple blood test can confirm the infection.
In the worst case, the risks of Listeriosis while pregnant, include miscarriage, premature delivery, infection of the newborn and even death to the newborn. In about 22% of cases, perinatal listeriosis will result in stillbirth or neonatal death.
However, the good news is that not all babies will be affected if their mothers have Listeriosis, My advice to pregnant women: don't eat any ready-to-eat foods for at least 2 weeks, until we know more. That includes sandwiches, soups, salads, sauces, salsas - everything. If you have eaten any recalled foods, or even any ready-to-eat foods with onions that have not been recalled, you may want to keep a careful eye on your health. Should you start having flu symptoms, don't waste time getting to a doctor, and ask him to test you.
To your good health,