How to Prevent Listeriosis

Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes listeriosis, is killed by pasteurization and cooking. The bacterium has been found in an assortment of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables. The following article will provide steps to prevent the spread of listeriosis.


  1. Image titled Be_aware Step 1
    Be aware of when you or others in your care are at most risk of contracting listeriosis. While anyone can be infected with the illness if they come into contact with the bacterium, there are those who are at an increased risk. This includes:
    • Pregnant women (about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis).
    • Newborns.
    • People over the age of 65 years.
    • People who have weakened immune systems, such as those who are undergoing chemotherapy or taking glucocorticosteroid medications.
    • Persons with AIDS (almost 300 times more likely to get listeriosis than people with normal immune systems).
  2. Image titled Know how to prevent Step 2
    Know how to prevent the disease. The steps taken to prevent listeriosis are very much like those used to help prevent other food caused illnesses. Maintain safe food practices at all times in the kitchen, at a barbecue, on a picnic, or wherever food handling and consumption is occurring. Safe handling practices include:
    • Keep raw meats separated from vegetables, fruit, foods that have been cooked, and ready-to-eat foods.
    • Thoroughly cook raw foods from animals, such as beef, pork, and poultry.
    • Avoid getting the fluid from hot dog packages on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces.
  3. Image titled Wash your hands Step 3
    Wash your hands both before and after handling food. Always wash your hands after touching animals and after being outside, prior to handling or consuming food.
    • Wash hands, knives, cutting boards, and counter tops after handling uncooked foods.
    • Wash your hands after handling hot dogs, luncheon meats, and deli meats.
    • Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before consumption, especially those that have been grown using manure as a fertilizer.
  4. Image titled Take care with eating Step 4
    Take care with eating practices. The following suggestions will help to prevent listeriosis:
    • Avoid unpasteurized milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk.
    • Use perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.
    • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli-meats, unless they have been reheated and are steaming hot.
    • Do not eat soft cheeses unless they have labels that clearly state they are made from pasteurized milk.
    • Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable pâtés and meat spreads may be eaten.
    • Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is contained in a cooked dish (such as a casserole). Canned or shelved smoked seafood is safe.
  5. Image titled Observe practises Step 5
    Observe the food handling practices used when eating out. If you see signs of poor handling or dirty maintenance of a food place, choose not to eat there.


  • In the event of an during pregnancy, antibiotics given promptly to the mother-to-be can often prevent infection of the fetus or newborn.
  • A person with listeriosis has fever, muscle aches, and frequently may experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea or diarrhea.
  • Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers consumed contaminated food during the pregnancy.


  • Even with swift medical treatment, some infections result in death.

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Categories: Infectious Diseases