Leading from the recent outbreak of food borne Listeria bacteria, which has claimed to date 557 lives (Business Day, Wednesday 6 December 2017, page 3), Pinnacle wishes to inform our valued customers about the risks of Listeriosis.
Listeria is an organism that contaminates food and can result in pregnant women going into premature labour or even losing their babies.
What is listeriosis and why is it dangerous?
Listeriosis is a serious bacterial infection caused by the rod-shaped bacteria listeria monocytogenes. The bacterium is spread when people eat food contaminated with the bacterium. The most common foods to be contaminated are raw or unpasteurized milk as well as soft cheeses, or vegetables, processed foods and ready-to-eat meats and smoked fish products.
Infection with listeria bacteria results in mild to severe gastroenteritis. In people with weak immune systems it can lead to meningitis or septicemia. And in pregnant women, listeriosis can result in a miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or meningitis in the newborn –
How can we protect ourselves from this infection?
- Raw or unpasteurized milk, or dairy products that contain unpasteurized milk,
- Soft cheeses like feta, goat cheese and brie,
- Foods from delicatessen counters like prepared salads and cold meats that have not been heated and reheated adequately,
- Refrigerated pâtés
Manufacturers of the above products take cognizance of the associated risks and the required precautionary measures.
Customers should be advised of the appropriate control measures implemented in order to mitigate the contamination risks.