The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have developed an action plan to reduce the risk of listeriosis, a rare but potentially life-threatening illness caused by the food-borne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.
The organism causes an estimated 2,500 serious illnesses and 500 deaths each year. Fetuses, newborn infants, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to developing severe or life-threatening listeriosis.
The bacteria often develop in improperly refrigerated foods, so the agencies advise eating perishable ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible and keeping the refrigerator clean and at 40[degrees]F or below People at high risk should avoid soft cheeses such as feta and Brie, pates or meat spreads, smoked seafood, and unpasteurized milk. In addition, hot dogs and luncheon meats should not be eaten unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
COPYRIGHT 2001 International Medical News Group
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group