Thursday, April 3, 2014


If you are pregnant, you are wise to avoid catching Listeriosis (infection with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes). And don’t believe those websites that tell you this infection is rare. Listeriosis is usually caught from contaminated foods and it is far more common than most people realize. It’s often just not diagnosed correctly.

Unfortunately, this bacterium still turns up in our food supply on a regular basis. I just took a look at a recent 37 day period (February 20 to March 38): there have actually been 14 U.S. food product recalls because of Listeria (though less if you don’t count repeat/expanded recalls by the same company). Foods involved have been: Fresh Express Italian salad; 10 varieties of Oscar’s Smokehouse Cheese Spreads; a variety of Roos Foods cheeses (both fresh and hard cheeses); various Happy Farms products such as peanut butters, cheeses, salsa, spreads, cheese logs, cheese rolls and more; various Helados La Tapatia ice cream products, popsicles, fruit bars; a number of Dole bagged salads; and Falafel King green chili humus wraps.

Many of these products were sold under a variety of names in well-known stores such as Whole Foods, Costco, Target and more, and were widely distributed throughout the U.S.

This is bad news for pregnant women, because:

• If you are pregnant, you are about 20 times more susceptible to Listeriosis than other people;
• You can catch it any time, but the risk is greatest during the third trimester.
• The biggest risk is to your unborn child, since infection can cause miscarriage, premature birth, infection of the newborn, and even death (about 22 percent of the time, which is pretty high).

So, yes, be careful (my next post will discuss symptoms).

To your good health,


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