Home Health how it manifests itself, who risks it and how to protect yourself

how it manifests itself, who risks it and how to protect yourself

by admin
how it manifests itself, who risks it and how to protect yourself

Let’s rewind the tape. We are experiencing a scene that mainly refers to summer days, when food is prepared for the picnic or a trip to the mountains and put it in the refrigerator to have it ready the next morning. Of course. Storing food in the refrigerator, even after having prepared them, is certainly an excellent habit. Yet even this measure may not be sufficient because there are bacteria that can replicate even at low temperatures and are therefore able to cause extremely dangerous toxins.

This is the case with listeria, which causes to listeriosis. If food contaminated with the germ is placed in the fridge, there is a risk that the bacteria replicate at great speed and can therefore prove to be very harmful to the consumer’s health. This is obviously just one example of possible contamination from listeria which must be followed carefully, also to help those who may have worse consequences from this picture.

Identikit of listeriosis

Human listeriosis is a relatively frequent disease: every year it occurs on average in one person in 100,000 considering the subjects in good health, although probably the people who contract the infection are more. It is almost always of food origin.

In healthy individuals it can give rise to symptoms reminiscent of a common gastroenteritis, with stomach ache and fever and diarrhea. In pregnant women and in subjects with immune deficiencies, however, it can lead to serious liver problems, infections of the meninges and brain, even months after the infection.

Listeria monocytogenes, responsible for listeriosis, is a 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 route of transmission for humans is food.

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The rules for reducing risks

The infection is particularly fearful for children, the elderly, pregnant women, people with a particularly weak immune system and people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes. Over time, listeria has been identified in various preserved foods.

In general terms among those a greater risk of developing the disease there are those that are first prepared and cooked, to then be stored and reused again after heating, as well as other foods such as specific types of dairy products. To limit the risks, here are some simple advice reported some time ago by the FDA (Aood and Drugs Administration).

  • First of all, it is necessary to keep the temperature of the refrigerator low to inhibit or at least slow down the growth and replication of listeria.
  • It is important to protect foods with films before placing them in the refrigerator or by placing them in containers that do not contain residues of other foods.
  • Do not place ready-to-use or hot dishes inside the refrigerator for a long time: they must be consumed before any listeria present has time to replicate.
  • Remember to clean the refrigerator shelves immediately if you spill something, to prevent germs from reproducing.
  • Refrigerator tops should always be disinfected regularly, as well as carefully cleaning the surfaces on which you prepare food.
  • Do not use the knives several times after use for different foods. Both these and the cutting boards must be carefully cleaned after each use.
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water before and after preparing food.
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