Sunday, February 19, 2017


I really think I need to see my doctor about my blood pressure. It rises every time I read a food company recall with that sentence "No illnesses have been reported" particularly when Listeria bacteria are suspected. I wish that the government food safety agencies would insist that the sentence be following by something like: "However, symptoms of Listeriosis may appear as late as a month after eating contaminated food."

In fact, appearance of symptoms can range from a few days to 70 days, and occasionally even longer. Or, you may have Listeriosis but not really feel sick at all. So what should you be on the lookout for?

If you are a relatively healthy adult, who is not pregnant, you may come down with fever, nausea, stiff neck, weakness, diarrhea and muscle aches. You may not have all these symptoms and you could dismiss it a case of the flu. In fact symptoms of a Listeria infection can be so mild that you won't notice them at all. That is the case if you are pregnant. Sadly, the baby may die before birth or come down with a life-threatening infection soon after birth. The symptoms in a newborn may be quite mild too and easily confused with some other problem. Perhaps nothing more than a little irritability, fever, little interest in feeding and some vomiting.

While most Listeria infections in adults tend to be very mild, they can get serious for older people or those with a weakened immune system, leading to complications such as septicemia or meningitis. So do be careful, particularly if you are in a high risk group. Right now, you should be checking any cheeses in your refrigerator against those that are being recalled (press the Recall link on this blog).


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