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Don't give the listeria bacteria a chance

  1. Listeriosis is an infection caused by a bacteria, listeria, that can be found in food. Healthy adults usually suffer little from the infection. Infection is especially dangerous for (the unborn fetus of) pregnant women, newborns and people with a reduced immune system.

  2. Listeriosis is an infection caused by a bacterium, listeria, that can be found in food. Healthy adults usually have little trouble with the infection. Infection is especially dangerous for (the unborn fetus of) pregnant women, newborns and people with a reduced immune system.

  1. Listeria is found on many foods. This intestinal bacteria can end up on your food through, for example, water or animal feed. In principle, listeria can still do no harm; that will not happen until it has multiplied into sickeningly large quantities.

  2. Listeria is found on many foods. This intestinal bacteria can end up on your food through, for example, water or animal feed. In principle, listeria can still do no harm; that only happens when it has multiplied into sickeningly large quantities.

Food infection

  1. Listeriosis is rare in the Netherlands; the listeria bacteria cause about 40 to 60 cases of foodborne infections per year. But the consequences of this infection can be very serious. For example, listeria can give rise to meningitis and sepsis (blood poisoning). Pregnant women can also lose their baby due to a spontaneous abortion. The chance of this is extremely small, it is estimated that only 0.0025 percent of all pregnant women contract an infection. Still, there is plenty of reason to pay attention to this bacteria. How can you minimize the risk of infection?

1. Avoid risk products

  1. Listeria multiplies particularly quickly on raw products that come from animals. Think of: Raw milk. Please note: milk from the supermarket is pasteurized or sterilized and is harmless

  2. Listeria multiplies particularly quickly on raw products from animals. Think of: Raw milk. Please note that milk from the supermarket is pasteurized or sterilized and is harmless

2. Keep refrigerated products well and not too long

  1. Listeria multiplies easily. Even in a cool, humid environment, such as the refrigerator. However, the colder it is, the slower the listeria will multiply. For example, at a refrigerator temperature of 4 degrees, the bacteria will spread half as fast as at a refrigerator temperature of 7 degrees. So set your refrigerator at 4 degrees. The sooner you then eat or drink products that need to be refrigerated, the smaller the risk of contamination. So for meat products, salads, ready-made meals and sliced ​​fruit and vegetables, it is best to eat and drink them as soon as possible. The closer you get to the expiration date, the more listeria bacteria. Listeria bacteria can survive even in the freezer. So also in products that you move from freezer to refrigerator, listeria can occur. Incidentally, the bacterium dies at temperatures above 80 degrees Celsius. So you are in no danger if you cook, bake or fry food and eat it immediately afterwards.

  2. Listeria multiplies easily. Even in a cool, humid environment, such as the refrigerator. However, the colder it is, the slower the listeria will multiply. For example, at a refrigerator temperature of 4 degrees, the bacteria will spread half as fast as at a refrigerator temperature of 7 degrees. So set your refrigerator at 4 degrees. The sooner you then eat or drink products that need to be refrigerated, the smaller the risk of contamination. So for meat products, salads, ready-made meals and sliced ​​fruit and vegetables, it is best to eat and drink them as soon as possible. The closer you get to the expiration date, the more listeria bacteria. Listeria bacteria can survive even in the freezer. So also in products that you move from freezer to refrigerator, listeria can occur. Incidentally, the bacterium dies at temperatures above 80 degrees Celsius. So you are not in danger if you cook, bake or fry food and eat it immediately afterwards.

3. Prepare products carefully

  1. If you cut a piece of raw chicken and then fry it well, the final chicken will no longer contain listeria (after all, it is dead from heating), but the bacteria can still remain on your hands. If you then prepare a salad without washing your hands first, the bacteria can jump to the salad. So prepare your food hygienically: Wash your hands after preparing raw meat, fish, or chicken. Wash fruit and vegetables well. Make sure that you do not use the knife with which you cut raw meat, for example, to cut a cucumber, etc. These measures minimize the risk of getting listeriosis.

  2. If you cut a piece of raw chicken and then fry it well, the final chicken will no longer have listeria (it is dead from heating), but the bacteria can still be on your hands. If you then prepare a salad without washing your hands first, the bacteria can jump to the salad. So prepare your food hygienically: Wash your hands after preparing raw meat, fish, or chicken. Wash fruit and vegetables well. Make sure that you do not use the knife with which you cut raw meat, for example, to cut a cucumber, et cetera. These measures minimize the risk of developing listeriosis.

Contamination

  1. Human-to-human contamination rarely occurs. An exception to this is the transfer from mother to child. A woman can infect the child during pregnancy or at birth. On average there are two to four weeks between infection and the symptoms, but this can vary from a few days to a few months. In people recovered from the infection, the listeria bacteria may still be present in the stool for several months.

Pregnancy

  1. Pregnant women in particular can panic if they accidentally eat a 'wrong' product once. That worry is not necessary either. Because it cannot be said often enough: the chance of infection with the listeria bacteria is in itself small!



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