Healthy people rarely contract listeriosis. Those most at risk for developing serious infections include people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV infection or those who are undergoing chemotherapy.
Here are some tips from the USDA for people at risk for listeriosis:
- Never eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, bologna, or other deli meats until you reheat them to steaming hot.
- Do not eat refrigerated paté or meat spreads from a meat counter.
- Do not eat smoked seafood found in a store's refrigerated section.
- Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk.
- Do not eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
- Do not eat store-made salads such as ham salad, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, or seafood salad.
- Avoid soft cheeses such as feta, queso blanco, queso fresco, Brie, Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses, and Panela unless the label specifically says it is made with pasteurized milk.
- Eat any precooked or ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.
- Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower and the freezer at 0 degrees F or lower.
- Always wash your hands with warm soapy water before and after touching raw meats and items that came in contact with them, such as knives or cutting boards.
Symptoms of listeriosis include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and nausea. Pregnant women who are exposed to the bacteria can have a miscarriage or stillbirth.
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