How To Protect Your Family From Listeria Food Poisoning

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Protect Your Family From Listeria Food Poisoning

First Published: Aug 26, 2008

A recent listeriosis outbreak has caused 12 confirmed deaths so far. This whole thing started when Maple Leaf Foods recalled their meat products. Listeria or Listeria monocytogenes is a kind of bacterium which can be found in the environment and almost everywhere, e.g., in soil, in our faces, in foods, in plants. The problem starts when we consume food contaminated with Listeria. It can cause food poisoning or food borne illness. Eating food contaminated with Listeria may cause a disease called Listeriosis. Many of us carry Listeria, but only a few will actually be affected by it and develop Listeriosis. Symptoms may include:

· Nausea

· Diarrhea

· Headache

· Vomiting

Pregnant women and the elderly are at higher risk. To protect yourself and your family, do the following:

· Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them

· Wash hands before and after handling food products

· Refrigerate food properly and promptly. Ideal refrigerator temperature is 4°C (40°F) or colder.

· Make sure poultry and meat products are thoroughly cooked or boiled

· Do not purchase more than you need. Finish eating your foods in two to three days or purchase fresh products

· Be aware of leftovers. Do not keep them for more than two to three days. Reheat them at 74°C (165°F) before eating

· Properly clean and wash utensils, cutting boards, refrigerator etc. Try to clean these frequently.

Where can you get more information?

Here is a handy list of recalled products.

Visit Canadian Food Inspection Agency Web site.

Visit Health Canada Web site.

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