Listeriosis is a foodborne illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes, bacteria found in soil and water. It can be in a variety of raw foods as well as in processed foods and foods made from unpasteurized milk. Listeria is unlike many other germs because it can grow even in the cold temperature of the refrigerator.
Symptoms include fever and chills, headache, upset stomach and vomiting. Treatment is with antibiotics.
Anyone can get the illness. But it is most likely to affect pregnant women and unborn babies, older adults, and people with weak immune systems. To reduce your risk
- Use precooked and ready-to-eat foods as soon as you can
- Avoid raw milk and raw milk products
- Heat ready-to-eat foods and leftovers until they are steaming hot
- Wash fresh fruits and vegetables
- Avoid rare meat and refrigerated smoked seafood
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- CDC Vital Signs: Recipe for Food Safety (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Keep Listeria Out of Your Kitchen (Food and Drug Administration) Available in Spanish
- Listeria (Listeriosis) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Listeria Infection (Listeriosis) (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Prevention of Listeriosis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Available in Spanish
- Special Handling for Ready-to-Eat, Refrigerated Foods: Reducing the Risks of Foodborne Listeria (Food and Drug Administration) Available in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- Listeria (Listeriosis) Treatment and Outcomes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Enviromysteries: Inside Stories: Frankie's Story (Maryland Public Television, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Listeria Infections (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Detection of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods sampled from a...
- Article: ATP binding drives substrate capture in an ECF transporter by...
- Article: Microinjection of Francisella tularensis and Listeria monocytogenes reveals the importance...
- Listeria Infections -- see more articles
- Listeria Infections (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- Food Safety for Moms to Be: While You're Pregnant - Listeria (Food and Drug Administration) Available in Spanish
- Listeriosis and Pregnancy (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) - PDF Available in Spanish