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What is Listeria?

Posted on in Food Poisoning
What is Listeria?

Listeria is a genus of bacteria that can cause illness in individuals who consume it. This illness is called listeriosis. Listeriosis can cause a variety of health problems in infected individuals and in some cases, it can be deadly.

Listeria can be found in many foods and food products. Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning. If you experience listeriosis symptoms, seek medical attention. Your doctor can provide you with an appropriate diagnosis and treatment for your condition. If your exposure to listeria was caused by another party's negligence or reckless behavior, you could be entitled to seek monetary compensation for the expenses associated with your illness through a personal injury claim.

How is Listeria Spread?

Listeria can be found in a wide variety of foods. Examples of foods that can contain listeria include:

  • Fruits and vegetables that can be contaminated through the soil in which they are grown
  • Processed meats, such as hot dogs and cold cuts
  • Processed and soft cheeses
  • Smoked seafood

In 2011, a multi-state listeria outbreak was linked to cantaloupes that had been exposed to the bacteria on a farm in Colorado.

In meats and cheeses, listeria can develop when the food is left in what is known as the “danger zone.” This is the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Always refrigerate these products after purchasing them and cook them to the correct internal temperature to prevent food poisoning.

Listeriosis Symptoms

Symptoms of listeriosis include the following:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Stiff neck
  • Muscle aches

If left untreated, listeria infection can spread to the nervous system and cause convulsions and difficulty with balance. Listeria infection is especially dangerous for individuals with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, young children, and those suffering from autoimmune disorders. Infants can also suffer if their mothers came into contact with listeria during their pregnancies.

Food Poisoning Attorneys in Illinois

Listeria can be found in many of the foods you eat. You can greatly minimize your risk of being infected with listeria by taking the proper safety precautions with your food, such as refrigerating it and cooking it to the optimal internal temperature before serving it. Leftovers should be packaged and refrigerated shortly after a meal ends to prevent listeria contamination. But sometimes, infections happen despite taking all proper precautions. In cases where the victim had no control over his or her food's preparation, such as in a restaurant, infection can be unavoidable.

If you are suffering from the effects of listeriosis because of another party's negligence, contact the Law Offices of Newland & Newland, LLP to learn more about filing a food poisoning claim. We will examine your case and help you file your personal injury claim. Our team of food poisoning attorneys has more than 20 years of experience handling this type of case and will provide you with the driven, compassionate guidance and representation you need.

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