Listeria poisoning, also known as listeriosis, is a life-threatening food poisoning caused by eating foods contaminated with the listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Listeria poisoning can cause severe illness or even death if not diagnosed and properly treated.
Pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to suffer more serious illnesses as a result of listeria contamination. Vegetables, meat, dairy products and processed foods can be contaminated with the bacteria that cause listeriosis.
Symptoms of Listeria Food Poisoning
The most common symptoms of listeria poisoning are:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Flu-like symptoms including chills
When listeriosis spreads to the nervous system, symptoms may include a headache or a stiff neck. Listeriosis is particularly threatening to pregnant women, as the bacterial infection can be responsible for stillbirth, miscarriage or premature delivery.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that people who develop symptoms of listeriosis should seek immediate medical care and tell their healthcare provider about eating potentially contaminated products. Listeriosis symptoms usually occur within hours or days of being exposed to the listeria bacteria. In some cases, it can take up to 2 months for the bacteria to cause illness.
Where is the Listeria Bacteria Found?
Listeria is found in soil, water, and animals such as poultry and cattle. It can be present in raw milk and foods made from raw milk. It can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats. Listeria can contaminate fresh fruits and vegetables when crops are fertilized with listeria-infected manure or grown in soil harboring listeria bacteria. Listeria can even grow within the cold temperatures of your refrigerator.
Experienced Food Safety Attorneys
If you suspect you or a loved one has been exposed to listeria poisoning, seek medical help immediately. Consumers have legal rights when it comes to food safety. The lawyers of Cory Watson Attorneys are investigating recent outbreaks of listeriosis and providing legal consultation for victims of the food poisoning outbreak. Call (877) 562-0000 for a free case evaluation.