Death in the Kitchen and Restaurants : Listeriosis

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silverware-1081779_1280-300x200 Death in the Kitchen and Restaurants : Listeriosis

As dark as this may sound, you may just be preparing for your worst nightmare in your very own kitchen or restaurant. The Listeria has made a reputation among pregnant mothers by causing miscarriages and stillbirths. It is one of the most commonly available infections in the kitchen and restaurants, especially in packed foods. Listeriosis may not be as dangerous to other people as compared to pregnant mothers but will cause serious complications in some. Severe symptoms will lead to death if not checked. Listeria bacteria occurs in prepacked foods such as sandwiches, pre-packed vegetables from manufacturing companies, seafood, and cooked sliced meats.

One of the most common signs and symptoms of the infection is diarrhea and vomiting. Stomach cramps and pains are also quite common. This may play along with a fever whether mild or severe. There have been many cases where listeria infections have been sighted in packed food. It is important to note that listeria can occur anywhere as long as the food is pre-done before eating. Pregnant mothers are highly advised to stay away from pre-packed food and maintain fresh foods at all times.

Listeria monocytogenes are the main causatives. These can be ingested through the food causing toxins and proliferation if the stomach walls. The FDA has gone to lengths to ensure that all food manufacturing companies follow strict standards for the purpose of safety. The social media has also risen up in arms flagging any possible sighting of these infections with infected products being recalled back to the factories.

Listeriosis will also easily occur at home. Most prepacked meals will be kept in the fridge during the period of use. Listeria bacteria will easily build up in foods that have not been well sealed before storage. The temperature of the fridge also needs to be well below 5 degrees. Listeria bacteria will not thrive at very low temperatures.

One of the most amazing facts is that most people will not get sick even when exposed to listeria bacteria. A smaller number will exhibit mild symptoms such as fevers, diarrhea and muscle cramps. The immune system is well capable to handle Listeriosis. The immune system will trigger a condition called tumor necrosis factor. This causes the release of cytokines that activate protective macrophages and monocytes. These attack and kill listeria bacterium. Some of the most life-threatening forms of the bacteria symptoms include meningitis and encephalitis.

The infections can also be prevented by companies following the consumer protection food preparations protocols. These are set up to deal with pathogenic bacteria during food preparation. Under-diagnoses are one of the most common reasons why Listeriosis will get serious. An outbreak makes it difficult to trace the infection especially when it is in a large scale. It may also be too late if the packaged food gets to the counters before early detection is done. Prepacked foods should, however, be avoided for pregnant mothers at all costs.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/sources.html

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/alert-alerte/listeria_200808-eng.php

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/phn-asp/2016/listeria-eng.php

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Listeriosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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