This bacterium is widely distributed in nature, it can be found in soil, water and the digestive tract of animals. As the City Public Health Institute of Belgrade explains on its website, vegetables can be contaminated with this bacteria through the soil. Food can become contaminated during the preparation process, so bacteria can multiply to levels that can cause illness during distribution or storage of the food.
WUDY HOT DOGS ARE BEING WITHDRAWED FROM SALE IN SERBIA The relevant ministry confirmed for “Blic Biznis”: We are carrying out an urgent inspection
Announcing that Wudy products are being withdrawn from the market of Serbia (and the region) due to the presence of listeria bacteria, the Veterinary Administration stated that listeria can cause food poisoning, “especially in sensitive categories of the population.”
The City Public Health Institute of Belgrade indicates on its website that the listeria bacterium can grow in a temperature range lower than 0⁰ C to 45⁰ C, so it survives and reproduces at normal temperatures in a refrigerator, which makes it particularly dangerous.
Good heat treatment, cooking and baking, as pointed out, destroys bacteria.
However, food that has not been cooled to refrigerator temperature, as well as food that has been cooled too slowly, is exposed to an increased risk of bacterial multiplication.
“In high-risk foods stored in the refrigerator, such as soft cheese, uncooked milk cheese, pâté, smoked fish, sliced meat, sliced cured meat products, the presence of this bacterium in any number is significant for public health, as there is a possibility for its growth and reproduction during storage”, says the Belgrade City Public Health Institute.
Symptoms of infection
As indicated, there are two clinical forms of listeriosis: non-invasive and invasive.
“Non-invasive listeriosis is a mild form of the disease, and symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, headache and muscle aches. “Incubation is short and lasts a few days,” the institute points out.
Invasive listeriosis, however, is a more serious disease.
“Invasive listeriosis mainly occurs in high-risk population groups.” These are pregnant women, cancer patients, patients with AIDS, patients with organ transplants and other people with weakened immunity, the elderly and infants. Symptoms of this form of the disease include fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting, loss of balance, and in more severe cases, a disturbance of consciousness, convulsions and paralysis of various muscles may occur. “The average incubation period is one to two weeks, but it can range from a few days to 90 days,” says the City Institute.
The diagnosis of listeriosis is made based on the clinical picture and the detection of bacteria in the blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), meconium of the newborn, as well as from feces, vomited contents, food or animal feed.
“Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics.” It is very important to diagnose the disease early and start treatment. The best way to prevent listeriosis is to prevent the possibility of food contamination during production and processing. Thermal processing of food of animal origin, pasteurization of milk and dairy products, washing vegetables before eating are important. “Pregnant women are advised to avoid consumption of soft cheeses and delicatessen meat products,” concludes the City Public Health Institute of Belgrade.