Listeria is a disease caused by all food products produced under unhealthy and bad situations and processing environments. Listeria has 6 species. Listeria monocytogenes is the only genus of Listeria that is pathogenic to humans.
Listeria spp. is very common in nature. It is found in soil, water, milk, red and white meat, and leaf tissues of some green leafy vegetables. It is also found in ready-to-eat processed meat products.
In particular, Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most important food-borne pathogens to cause disease in humans and animals. Therefore, it should definitely be analyzed for public health and food safety. Listeria monocytogenes can develop and grow at refrigerator temperatures, which poses a significant problem especially in ready-to-eat foods. It is known that it can multiply in refrigerator temperatures, as well as survive for a few months in humid environments and up to two years in salty and dry environments.
In the analysis of L. monocytogenes, presence/absence analysis is applied in 25 g sample. L. monocytogenes should not be detected more than 100 cfu/g during the shelf life of ready-made foods.
A zero tolerance policy is applied for the presence of L. monocytogenes in foods. In this direction, the criteria for L. monocytogenes handled by the European Food Safety Authority mainly cover ready-to-eat foods and the conditions are as follows;
1.25 g of ready-to-eat foods for infants and special medical purposes should not contain L. monocytogenes.
Consumption of contaminated food is sufficient for the transmission of this bacterium. Food types of this bacterium, which can easily pass from sick animals to humans, must be analyzed before consumption for public health. Listeria spp. analysis detects whether this bacteria is present in the food in question. In our laboratory, we carry out the necessary analysis in a very short time.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating contaminated food. It is a major public health problem in the United States. Every year, 1600 people are infected and 260 of them die.
There are many microbes transmitted by food. Some of these, such as Listeria, can be fatal. Listeria monocytogenes is commonly found in soil and water. Animals can carry the bacteria without getting sick, but foods such as meat and dairy products of these animals can be contaminated. Infection is transmitted to humans by eating contaminated food. Babies whose mothers consume contaminated food during pregnancy can be born with Listeriosis.
The person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or gastrointestinal symptoms. In almost every diagnosed patient, the bacteria spreads to the digestive system. Symptoms can vary from person to person.
Pregnant women: Symptoms in pregnant women are usually fever, fatigue and pain. However, contamination with the bacteria during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or infections that threaten the baby's life.
Listeriosis can occur in different ways. Septicemia and meningitis are the most common clinical conditions in the elderly and immunocompromised people. Acute febrile gastroenteritis may develop in people with immune system problems or no symptoms are seen.
Even if treatment is started, some cases result in death. This is especially true for the elderly and patients with serious health problems.
Early diagnosis and treatment is very important. According to the patient's clinic, a definitive diagnosis is made by the growth of bacteria in CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) or blood values. Effective antibiotics are prescribed for treatment. If a person has no symptoms after eating contaminated food, most experts believe that no testing or treatment is needed.
Listeria can survive for years in contaminated food products in food processing plants. The bacteria is found in a variety of foods, including uncooked meats and vegetables, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, cream cheese, processed meats (ready-to-eat) and smoked fish.
Listeria can be killed by pasteurization and cooking. However, some processed meats, such as hot dogs, and deli meats can be contaminated. Although pasteurized milk is used as in Mexican cheeses, it can also be contaminated in cheese production.
The risk of disease can be reduced by recommendations for the safe preparation, consumption and storage of food. The general recommendations for the prevention of listeriosis are similar to those used to prevent other foodborne illnesses such as salmonellosis. In addition, there are specific recommendations for people at high risk for Listeriosis.
Contact our call center for more detailed information about Listeria spp analysis and the diseases it causes. Our customer representatives will be happy to answer your questions.
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