Listeria monocytogenes Infection (cont.)
Several measures can be taken to prevent contact with foods and liquids
potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following:
- Rinse raw produce, such as fruits and vegetables, thoroughly under running
tap water before eating, cutting, or cooking. Even if the produce will be
peeled, it should still be washed first.
- Separate uncooked meats and poultry
from vegetables, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods.
- Wash hands, knives,
countertops, and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
- Clean up all spills in your refrigerator right away -- especially juices from hot
dog and lunchmeat packages, raw meat, and raw poultry.
- Thoroughly cook raw food
from animal sources, such as beef, pork, or poultry to a safe internal
- Use precooked or ready-to-eat food as soon as you can.
- Do not drink raw
(unpasteurized) milk, and do not eat foods that have unpasteurized milk in them.
Recommendations for people at higher risk, such as pregnant women, people
with weakened immune systems, and older adults in addition to the
recommendations listed above, include the following:
- Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, other deli meats (for
bologna), or fermented or dry sausages unless they are heated to an internal
temperature of 165 F or until steaming hot just before serving.
- Avoid getting
fluid from hot dog and lunchmeat packages on other foods, utensils, and food
preparation surfaces, and wash hands after handling hot dogs, luncheon meats,
and deli meats.
- Do not eat refrigerated pâté or meat spreads from a deli or
meat counter or from the refrigerated section of a store. Foods that do not need
refrigeration, like canned or shelf-stable pâté and meat spreads, are safe to
eat. Refrigerate after opening.
- Do not eat soft cheese such as feta, queso
blanco, queso fresco, brie, Camembert, blue veined, or panela (queso panela)
unless it is labeled as made with pasteurized milk.
- Do not eat refrigerated
smoked seafood, unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole, or
unless it is a canned or shelf-stable product. Refrigerated smoked seafood, such
as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, and mackerel, is most often labeled as
"nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky." These fish are typically
found in the refrigerator section or sold at seafood and deli counters of
grocery stores and delicatessens.
- Canned and shelf-stable tuna, salmon, and
other fish products are safe to eat.