Alert food listeriosis in various Italian regions. The Ministry of Health, with a notice on the official portal, underlines how “high attention is paid” to the increase in registered clinical cases due to the contamination of food by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
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THE DIFFUSION OF THE BACTERIUM AND THE INVESTIGATIONS
A working group set up by the dicastery to deal with the spread of the bacterium, found a correlation between some of the clinical cases and the presence of the strain of Listeria ST 155 in wurstel based on poultry meat produced by the company Tre Valli Farm. Presence of the bacterium also confirmed by sampling carried out at the plant. Following the verifications, the company started the withdrawal of the lots that tested positive (1785417 and 01810919) and, in application of the principle of maximum precaution, of all those produced before 12 September 2022. It also implemented a communication reinforcing what already indicated on the products directly in the points of sale.
LISTERIA, WHAT IS IT AND WHERE IS THE BACTERIA
Listeria monocytogenes, responsible for listeriosis – warns the Ministry “is an ubiquitous bacterium that can be present in soil, water and vegetation and can contaminate various foods such as milk, vegetables, soft cheeses, undercooked meats, and slightly seasoned sausages. The main way of transmission for humans is food. Healthy children and adults can occasionally be infected, but rarely develop a serious disease unlike debilitated, immunosuppressed subjects and pregnant women where the disease is more severe ».
The severity of the symptoms “varies considerably according to the infectious dose and the state of health of the affected individual – underlines the dicastery – It ranges from flu-like or gastrointestinal forms, sometimes accompanied by high fever up, in subjects at risk, to septicemic forms, meningitis or abortion.
Listeria monocytogenes is very resistant to low temperatures and drying, in food stored at refrigeration temperature (4 ° C). On the other hand, it is very sensitive to the usual domestic cooking temperatures of food.
INDICATIONS ON HOW TO BEHAVIOR
The Ministry of Health invites consumers to pay maximum attention to the correct methods of conservation, preparation and consumption of food, in the specific case of frankfurters, indicated precisely on the label on the package, which normally involve cooking before consumption.
The adoption of simple rules of hygiene in the handling of food, even at home, in fact reduces the risk of contracting the disease.
THE RULES TO FOLLOW
Wash your hands often, frequently clean all surfaces and materials that come into contact with food (utensils, small appliances, refrigerator, dishcloths and sponges); store raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods in the refrigerator separately and in closed containers; cook food well following the manufacturer’s instructions on the label; do not prepare the food to be consumed after cooking too early (if not, keep it in the fridge and reheat it before consumption);
do not leave perishable foods at room temperature and respect the storage temperature indicated on the label.