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 (4,023 Responses)
  1. MathewHoits

    http://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis united kingdom
    cialis soft tablet buy cialis in miami buy cialis now

    May 15, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. CurtisWog

    buy cialis online viagra: п»їhow much does cialis cost with insurance generic cialis daily pricing
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis cheaper online
    original cialis low price buy cialis with paypal buy cialis tadalafil uk

    May 15, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. DomingoMew

    buy cialis philippines cheapest generic cialis australia – buy cialis cheap canada
    http://cialisbnb.com/# generic cialis canadian
    canada cialis online buy cialis online overnight cialis original for sale

    May 15, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. LbsoZisse

    cialis oline http://ucialisdas.com/ order cialis online nb canada

    May 15, 2021 at 06:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. CurtisWog

    buy cialis tadalafil uk: buy cheap cialis uk buy cialis cheap canada
    https://cialisbnb.com/# cialis 20mg usa
    safe buy cialis cialis without presciption in usa buy cialis shipping canada

    May 15, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. CurtisWog

    cialis online without prescription: where can i buy cialis without a prescription buy cialis tadalafil0 with pay pal
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis drug
    canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg cheap generic cialis fastest delivery of generic cialis

    May 15, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. DomingoMew

    cialis sale 20mg fastest delivery of generic cialis – taking cialis soft tabs
    http://cialisbnb.com/# where can i buy cialis without a prescription
    how to buy cialis online uk monthly cost of cialis without insurance buy cialis online generic

    May 15, 2021 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. MathewHoits

    http://cialisbnb.com/# cialis 20mg low price
    cialis online daily buy cialis toronto buy cialis 36 hour

    May 15, 2021 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. houses for sale near by

    Great info. Lucky me I came across your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!

    http://tools.parstools.com/rss/site.php?url=https://meganleary.com

    May 15, 2021 at 09:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. CurtisWog

    cialis original for sale: how to buy cialis online uk buy cialis without perscription
    http://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis cheap canada
    cialis 20mg usa buy cialis toronto cheap generic cialis

    May 15, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. CurtisWog

    buy cialis online generic: cialis for daily use buy cialis drug
    http://cialisbnb.com/# where can u buy cialis
    cialis online without prescription buy cialis drug cheapest generic cialis australia

    May 15, 2021 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. DomingoMew

    cialis 20mg for sale cialis sale 20mg – buy cheap cialis overnight
    http://cialisbnb.com/# can i buy cialis in toronto
    buy cialis online viagra find cheap cialis online buy cialis tadalafil0 with pay pal

    May 15, 2021 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. house for sale sandpoint idaho

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

    http://www.artshub.com.au/job-apply-external/?ListingId=227894&ApplyUrl=https://meganleary.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Eyewear Near Me

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this subject. I really like all the points you made.

    https://mobile.donanimhaber.com/ExternalLinkRedirect?url=http://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. MathewHoits

    http://cialisbnb.com/# how to buy cialis online uk
    buy cheap cialis overnight cialis original for sale cialis soft tablet

    May 15, 2021 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. CurtisWog

    buy cialis online overnight: buy cialis cheaper online buy cialis online at lowest price
    http://cialisbnb.com/# cialis 20 mg cost
    buy cialis with paypal where can i buy cialis without a prescription buy cialis online in canada

    May 15, 2021 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. DomingoMew

    safe buy cialis buy cialis online best price – fastest delivery of generic cialis
    http://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis tadalafil uk
    original cialis low price buy cheap cialis overnight buy cialis with paypal

    May 15, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. CurtisWog

    taking cialis soft tabs: buy cialis now how to buy cialis online from canada
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis without perscription
    buy cialis 36 hour monthly cost of cialis without insurance how to get ciails without a doctor

    May 15, 2021 at 12:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. MathewHoits

    https://cialisbnb.com/# cheapest generic cialis australia
    can i buy cialis online safe buy cialis buy cialis online in canada

    May 15, 2021 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. CurtisWog

    cheap generic cialis: cheapest generic cialis australia buy cialis ebay
    https://cialisbnb.com/# original cialis low price
    cheap generic cialis buy cialis toronto cialis without prescriptions canada

    May 15, 2021 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. DomingoMew

    buy cialis cheaper online canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg – buy cialis tadalafil uk
    http://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis insurance
    buy cialis drug cost of cialis without insurance cialis without presciption in usa

    May 15, 2021 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. CurtisWog

    cost of tadalafil without insurance: buy cialis in miami cialis without prescriptions canada
    https://cialisbnb.com/# find cheap cialis online
    cialis 20 mg cost safe buy cialis cialis tadalafil portugal

    May 15, 2021 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. MathewHoits

    https://cialisbnb.com/# how to buy cialis online from canada
    can i buy cialis in uk buy cialis tadalafil0 with pay pal buy cialis online generic

    May 15, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. CurtisWog

    buy cialis online best price: buy cialis online cheap buy cialis shipping canada
    https://cialisbnb.com/# cialis original for sale
    fastest delivery of generic cialis п»їhow much does cialis cost with insurance buy cialis united kingdom

    May 15, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Eye Exam

    http://yellowpages.13abc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=arizonasvision.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. MathewHoits

    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis online overnight
    buy cialis philippines how to buy cialis online uk taking cialis soft tabs

    May 15, 2021 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. DomingoMew

    buy cialis online overnight much does cialis cost without insurance – cialis 20 mg cost
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis in miami
    buy cialis online in canada buy cialis online europe original cialis low price

    May 15, 2021 at 17:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. CurtisWog

    buy cialis online at lowest price: buy cialis philippines safe buy cialis
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis tadalafil uk
    buy cialis online at lowest price find cheap cialis online buy cialis without perscription

    May 15, 2021 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. MathewHoits

    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis tadalafil0 with pay pal
    safe buy cialis buy cialis in miami can i buy cialis in toronto

    May 15, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. CurtisWog

    buy cialis online cheap: cialis original for sale buy cialis united kingdom
    http://cialisbnb.com/# п»їhow much does cialis cost with insurance
    buy cialis now cialis tadalafil portugal buy cialis online at lowest price

    May 15, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv repair near me now

    https://www.5ivestarlondon.com/track.aspx?click=I&group=Z&item=Primrose+Bakery+Bespoke+Service&url=https://ocrvcenter.co

    May 15, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. CurtisWog

    buy cheap cialis overnight: cialis tadalafil portugal order original cialis online
    http://cialisbnb.com/# can i buy cialis in uk
    buy cialis online overnight [url=http://cialisbnb.com/#]cheap generic cialis[/url] buy cialis without perscription

    May 15, 2021 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. DomingoMew

    buy cialis with paypal buy cialis philippines – buy cialis with paypal
    http://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis tadalafil0 with pay pal
    cheapest generic cialis australia [url=http://cialisbnb.com/#]buy cialis online cheap[/url] ordering cialis online australia

    May 15, 2021 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Maserati Rim

    http://marketplace.salisburypost.com/AdHunter/salisburypost/Home/EmailFriend?url=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. MathewHoits

    http://cialisbnb.com/# much does cialis cost without insurance
    buy cheap cialis overnight fastest delivery of generic cialis how to buy cialis online from canada

    May 15, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. CurtisWog

    buy cialis online overnight: buy cialis philippines cialis for daily use
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis tadalafil0 with pay pal
    buy cialis rush taking cialis soft tabs buy cialis online europe

    May 15, 2021 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Local Marketing Center

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Thanks for sharing!

    https://domaindirectory.com/servicepage/?domain=internetmarketingoregon.com

    May 15, 2021 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Aika Pran

    https://aikareborn.com/members/hawkstates1.54315

    May 15, 2021 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. MathewHoits

    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis cheaper online
    buy cialis ebay cialis sale 20mg buy cialis very cheap prices fast delivery

    May 15, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. CurtisWog

    buy cialis tadalafil uk: cialis soft tablet buy cialis rush
    https://cialisbnb.com/# much does cialis cost without insurance
    buy cialis online viagra cialis 20mg low price buy cheap cialis uk

    May 15, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. DomingoMew

    buy cheap cialis uk find cheap cialis online – buy cheap cialis overnight
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis in miami
    buy cialis without perscription buy cialis tadalafil tablets cialis for daily use

    May 15, 2021 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. CurtisWog

    buy cialis canadian: buy cheap cialis overnight how to buy cialis online from canada
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis tadalafil uk
    buy cialis doctor canada cialis online cialis original for sale

    May 15, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. MathewHoits

    https://cialisbnb.com/# canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg
    where can i buy cialis without a prescription buy cialis online cheap buy cialis online at lowest price

    May 15, 2021 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. CurtisWog

    how to buy cialis online uk: cialis 5mg tablet buy cheap cialis overnight
    https://cialisbnb.com/# how to get ciails without a doctor
    order original cialis online cialis 20 mg cost cialis 20mg low price

    May 16, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Persona Aika

    Everything is very open with a really clear explanation of the issues. It was definitely informative. Your site is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/index.php?thememode=full;redirect=http://www.aikareborn.com/wiki/skull_shop/

    May 16, 2021 at 00:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. DomingoMew

    buy cialis united kingdom buy cialis now – cost of tadalafil without insurance
    http://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis united kingdom
    cost of cialis without insurance fastest delivery of generic cialis buy cialis tadalafil0 with pay pal

    May 16, 2021 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. MathewHoits

    http://cialisbnb.com/# cost of tadalafil without insurance
    buy cialis without perscription original cialis low price buy cialis tadalafil uk

    May 16, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. CurtisWog

    buy cialis insurancecialis online without prescription: buy cialis very cheap prices fast delivery generic cialis daily pricing
    https://cialisbnb.com/# buy cialis rush
    cialis 5mg tablet taking cialis soft tabs generic cialis canadian

    May 16, 2021 at 01:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. DomingoMew

    buy cialis online cheap buy cialis online in canada – cialis tadalafil portugal
    https://cialisbnb.com/# taking cialis soft tabs
    cheapest generic cialis australia [url=http://cialisbnb.com/#]buy cialis 36 hour online[/url] how to buy cialis online uk

    May 16, 2021 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. CurtisWog

    buy cialis shipping canada: cialis 20mg for sale cheapest generic cialis australia
    https://cialisbnb.com/# cheapest generic cialis australia
    canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg [url=http://cialisbnb.com/#]buy cialis online best price[/url] buy cialis united kingdom

    May 16, 2021 at 02:30 | 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 78 79 80

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.