What is Listeriosis?
Listeriosis is an infection caused by bacteria called Listeria. People get ill with Listeriosis after eating food contaminated with the germ that causes it. The infection usually goes away on its own but can cause serious problems if it affects pregnant woman or someone with weakened immune system.
How do people get infected with Listeria?
The disease is acquired by eating food contaminated with the Listeria bacteria, mainly from the following food products:
- Unpasteurized/raw milk
- Diary products made from unpasteurized milk [milk not heated to kill harmful organisms]
- Soft cheeses
- Chilled ready-to-eat foods such as prepacked sandwiches, pate and deli meats
What are the symptoms of Listeriosis?
Listeriosis can cause a variety of symptoms such as:
- High temperature or fever (38oC or above)
- Aches and pains
How can I protect myself and other people from getting infected?
- Avoid drinking raw milk (unpasteurized) milk or eating food made from it
- Eat food that are steaming hot
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Wash fruit and vegetables before eating them
- Store ready-to-eat foods as recommended by the manufacturer
- Don’t consume expired food products no matter how normal it appears
- Be vigilant about important industrial food and meat products from South Africa