Sunday, January 20, 2013
HOW YOU CAN AVOID GETTING LISTERIA FROM FOOD?
So what can you safely eat? This question is most important for pregnant women, older people, anyone with a compromised immune system, and anyone who has kidney disease, certain cancers, diabetes or is an alcoholic. For such people, a single lunch, dinner or snack can prove fatal. No, I am not exaggerating. While it is estimated that some 20-30 percent of Listeria infections result in death, the rate is much greater for people in the high risk group - estimates placing it anywhere between 40-70 percent.
I have written a lot about this issue in previous blog postings. But here are some of the basics.
People in the high risk groups may want to avoid "ready-to-eat" foods unless they are cooked thoroughly first. Such foods include:
Luncheon meats, bologna, pastrami, salami, cold-smoked salmon, refrigerated pate, meat spreads and other similar deli products.
Store-sold salads such as chicken salad, tuna salad, ham salad, seafood salad.
Ready-made sandwiches or similar foods.
Raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods made with unpasteurized milk.
Soft cheeses such as quesco blanco, quesco fresco, Feta, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses and similar unless the label states that they are made with pasteurized milk.
However - and I wish I didn't have to say this - L. monocytogenes sometimes also turns up in other foods (for instance in butter, and even whole produce), so even if you avoid such foods, it will not be a 100 percent guarantee of safety.
To your good health,