home
RSS
What you need to know about Listeria monocytogenes
September 28th, 2011
12:35 PM ET

What you need to know about Listeria monocytogenes

With an outbreak of sickness linked to  bacteria-tainted cantaloupe now reported in more than a dozen states, here's a quick backgrounder on listeria monocytogenes.

What is it?
Listeria monocytogenes is a “hardy” bacterium that is resistant to extreme hot and cold. This bacterium is pathogenic – meaning that it is infectious to humans, causing the illness listeriosis.

Where does it come from?
Listeria is found in soil, water and the intestines of some animals. Unfortunately, most animals show no symptoms so the bacterium is transferred to raw foods such as unpasteurized dairy products, raw vegetables and raw meats. And unlike similar types of bacteria, listeria can grow in the low temperatures of a refrigerator.

Studies also suggest that up to 10% of humans may be carriers. The FDA says that when listeria gets into a factory environment it can live for several years.

But how did it get inside of cantaloupes?
Cantaloupes and other fruits with porous surfaces can become infected by listeria when soil and/or water seeps through their skin. Any bacterium that remains on the outside can be transferred from the shell to the inside when the fruit is sliced open by a knife or handled.

Who is most at risk?
Listeriosis primarily affects the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, and people with weakened immune systems. In the U.S., an estimated 1,600 people become seriously ill each year; approximately 16% of these illnesses result in death. Cervical infections caused by listeriosis in pregnant women may result in spontaneous abortion during the second or third trimesters or stillbirth.

What are the symptoms of listeriosis?
The early symptoms of listeriosis are similar to those of the flu with nausea, muscle aches and a high fever. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea may also appear. The length of time between infection and the appearance of symptoms is unknown.

How can I protect myself?
Recommendations for keeping food safe from listeria are similar to those used to protect against other foodborne illnesses. Remember to cook meat to the USDA’s recommended temperatures and to wash all raw vegetables and fruit. Keep your fridge below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and eat leftovers within three to four days, the CDC says.

I’ve eaten a cantaloupe! What should I do?
Your risk of developing listeriosis is extremely low, even if the cantaloupe you ate was contaminated. If you do not have any symptoms you’re most likely in the clear. However, if you’re in one of the high risk groups and showed symptoms up to two months after eating a possibly contaminated product, contact your doctor.

Has this happened before?
About 800 cases of Listeria infection are diagnosed each year in the United States, along with three or four outbreaks of Listeria-associated foodborne illness. A multi-state outbreak of listeria from contaminated hot dogs and deli meats occurred in 1998, killing 21. Between 1998 and June 2009, 48 deaths from listeria-caused illnesses were reported by the CDC’s Foodborne Outbreak Online Database.

Got a question about the outbreak? Ask it below and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

To learn more visit the FDA's Bad Bug Book or the CDC's section on listeriosis.


soundoff (3,845 Responses)
  1. LewisPrasy

    can i buy cialis in toronto cost of cialis without insurance – cialis for daily use
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis 5mg tablet

    May 7, 2021 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. AnooEncox

    spray nasale effetto viagra https://llviagra.com/ apomorphine viagra

    May 7, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Harrytrump

    much does cialis cost without insurance buy cialis online europe – cost of cialis without insurance
    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis 36 hour
    buy cialis in miami buy cialis united kingdom cost of tadalafil without insurance

    May 7, 2021 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. JeremyGor

    cost of tadalafil without insurance generic cialis canadian – generic cialis canadian
    https://cialisst.com/# cialis without presciption in usa
    buy cialis united kingdom buy cialis cheap canada taking cialis soft tabs

    May 7, 2021 at 13:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. LewisPrasy

    cialis 20mg usa monthly cost of cialis without insurance – cheap generic cialis
    http://cialisst.com/# how to buy cialis online from canada

    May 7, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. BrianFet

    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis very cheap prices fast delivery
    cialis for daily use buy cialis rush cialis without presciption in usa

    May 7, 2021 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis without perscription cialis 20mg for sale – canada cialis online
    https://cialisst.com/# п»їhow much does cialis cost with insurance

    May 7, 2021 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JeremyGor

    how to buy cialis online uk buy cialis insurancecialis online without prescription – can i buy cialis online
    http://cialisst.com/# generic cialis daily pricing
    buy cialis very cheap prices fast delivery buy cheap cialis overnight taking cialis soft tabs

    May 7, 2021 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Harrytrump

    safe buy cialis buy cialis online at lowest price – buy cialis in miami
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis 20mg for sale
    monthly cost of cialis without insurance cialis soft tablet buy cialis united kingdom

    May 7, 2021 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LewisPrasy

    cialis sale 20mg buy cialis online best price – buy cialis 36 hour
    https://cialisst.com/# monthly cost of cialis without insurance

    May 7, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. hyundai dealer near me

    https://c.hubz.pl/?affiliateId=54862&partnerId=13452&url=https://wholesalenearme.com&utm_custom=&aff_sub4=&aff_sub5=

    May 7, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. LewisPrasy

    where can i buy cialis without a prescription can i buy cialis in toronto – cialis 20mg low price
    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis united kingdom

    May 7, 2021 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. BrianFet

    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis now
    how to get ciails without a doctor order original cialis online cialis 20mg usa

    May 7, 2021 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. JeremyGor

    buy cialis canadian can i buy cialis in toronto – buy cialis ebay
    http://cialisst.com/# can i buy cialis online
    cialis sale 20mg п»їhow much does cialis cost with insurance cialis 20mg for sale

    May 7, 2021 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Harrytrump

    cheapest generic cialis australia cialis 20mg low price – buy cialis united kingdom
    http://cialisst.com/# buy cialis online in canada
    cheap generic cialis order original cialis online cialis 20 mg cost

    May 7, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. LewisPrasy

    can i buy cialis in uk buy cialis 36 hour – buy cialis online europe
    http://cialisst.com/# buy cialis rush

    May 7, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis now buy cialis online europe – buy cheap cialis overnight
    https://cialisst.com/# cheapest generic cialis australia

    May 7, 2021 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. JeremyGor

    much does cialis cost without insurance buy cialis 36 hour online – buy cialis with paypal
    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis online at lowest price
    buy cialis shipping canada cialis in europe where can i buy cialis without a prescription

    May 7, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. BrianFet

    https://cialisst.com/# where can i buy cialis without a prescription
    buy cheap cialis uk cialis without prescriptions canada cialis 20 mg cost

    May 7, 2021 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis cheaper online where can u buy cialis – canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg
    http://cialisst.com/# buy cialis in miami

    May 7, 2021 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Harrytrump

    buy cialis online overnight buy cialis without perscription – buy cialis online overnight
    https://cialisst.com/# cheap generic cialis
    buy cialis rush buy cialis toronto buy cialis cheaper online

    May 7, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis in miami cialis for daily use – buy cialis insurancecialis online without prescription
    https://cialisst.com/# where can i buy cialis without a prescription

    May 7, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. JeremyGor

    buy cialis online europe buy cialis online best price – buy cialis insurance
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis 20 mg cost
    buy cialis very cheap prices fast delivery where can u buy cialis can i buy cialis in uk

    May 7, 2021 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis online overnight cialis 20 mg cost – buy cialis cheap canada
    http://cialisst.com/# buy cialis cheaper online

    May 7, 2021 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Harrytrump

    taking cialis soft tabs buy cialis drug – cialis soft tablet
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis original for sale
    cialis 20 mg cost cialis for daily use cialis 20mg for sale

    May 7, 2021 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. the truck shop orange county

    http://www.youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=mallm_25eLQ

    May 7, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. BrianFet

    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis online viagra
    buy cialis cheaper online cialis 5mg tablet cialis tadalafil portugal

    May 7, 2021 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis online europe buy cialis 36 hour – cost of tadalafil without insurance
    https://cialisst.com/# cialis sale 20mg

    May 7, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. JeremyGor

    cialis 20mg for sale buy cialis toronto – buy cialis ebay
    https://cialisst.com/# how to get ciails without a doctor
    can i buy cialis online generic cialis daily pricing cialis tadalafil portugal

    May 7, 2021 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis shipping canada buy cialis philippines – buy cialis 36 hour
    https://cialisst.com/# can i buy cialis online

    May 7, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Harrytrump

    buy cialis online at lowest price monthly cost of cialis without insurance – buy cialis online europe
    https://cialisst.com/# safe buy cialis
    how to buy cialis online from canada buy cialis ebay can i buy cialis in toronto

    May 7, 2021 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. LewisPrasy

    original cialis low price buy cialis cheap canada – buy cialis tadalafil tablets
    https://cialisst.com/# safe buy cialis

    May 7, 2021 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. JeremyGor

    buy cialis online overnight buy cialis tadalafil uk – buy cialis ebay
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis without prescriptions canada
    buy cialis 36 hour online where can i buy cialis without a prescription cialis 20 mg cost

    May 7, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. BrianFet

    http://cialisst.com/# buy cialis toronto
    monthly cost of cialis without insurance how to buy cialis online uk buy cialis online overnight

    May 7, 2021 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. LewisPrasy

    cost of tadalafil without insurance cialis 20mg low price – generic cialis canadian
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis for daily use

    May 7, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Harrytrump

    where can i buy cialis without a prescription buy cialis 36 hour online – monthly cost of cialis without insurance
    https://cialisst.com/# how to buy cialis online from canada
    buy cialis ebay cialis for daily use buy cialis insurancecialis online without prescription

    May 7, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. LewisPrasy

    order original cialis online canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg – generic cialis canadian
    http://cialisst.com/# buy cheap cialis overnight

    May 7, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Social Media Marketing Center

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be helpful to read articles from other authors and practice a little something from other websites.

    http://105thebuzz.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 7, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. JeremyGor

    buy cialis united kingdom buy cialis online generic – generic cialis daily pricing
    http://cialisst.com/# п»їhow much does cialis cost with insurance
    cialis original for sale cialis without presciption in usa buy cialis online generic

    May 7, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. oc ac repair

    Excellent blog post. I definitely love this website. Continue the good work!

    http://ramblinmusings.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    May 7, 2021 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis tadalafil tablets buy cialis tadalafil uk – cost of tadalafil without insurance
    https://cialisst.com/# cheap generic cialis

    May 7, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. BrianFet

    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis tadalafil uk
    cialis sale 20mg buy cialis insurancecialis online without prescription buy cialis online overnight

    May 7, 2021 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Harrytrump

    cialis tadalafil portugal buy cialis rush – buy cialis online best price
    http://cialisst.com/# order original cialis online
    cialis for daily use buy cialis tadalafil tablets can i buy cialis in uk

    May 8, 2021 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. LewisPrasy

    cheapest generic cialis australia buy cialis very cheap prices fast delivery – buy cialis rush
    https://cialisst.com/# how to get ciails without a doctor

    May 8, 2021 at 00:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. JeremyGor

    cialis tadalafil portugal cialis without presciption in usa – monthly cost of cialis without insurance
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis 5mg tablet
    buy cialis without perscription ordering cialis online australia much does cialis cost without insurance

    May 8, 2021 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. LewisPrasy

    buy cialis online in canada buy cialis very cheap prices fast delivery – cialis 20 mg cost
    https://cialisst.com/# buy cialis toronto

    May 8, 2021 at 01:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Harrytrump

    п»їhow much does cialis cost with insurance order original cialis online – generic cialis canadian
    http://cialisst.com/# cialis online without prescription
    buy cialis doctor buy cialis online europe buy cialis doctor

    May 8, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. LewisPrasy

    cost of cialis without insurance cialis without prescriptions canada – buy cialis philippines
    https://cialisst.com/# where can u buy cialis

    May 8, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. BrianFet

    http://cialisst.com/# buy cheap cialis uk
    order original cialis online safe buy cialis buy cialis tadalafil uk

    May 8, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Internet Marketing Consultants

    http://www.quantumspaces.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 8, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.