Species: Listeria monocytogenes
Listeria is a species of small gram positive rod shaped bacteria,
which are sometimes arranged in small chains when looked at under a microscope.
The genus includes 7 species one of which is Listeria monocytogenes.
Listeria is an
opportunistic bacteria, it is most prevalent in the elderly, pregnant mothers
and AIDS patients. With an increasing elderly population and extended life expectancy
for AIDS patients more cases of this rare illness are expected. Symptoms
include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhoea. If infection
spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck,
confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur.
individuals, Listeria can invade the central nervous system, causing meningitis
and/or encephalitis (brain infection). Infected pregnant women ordinarily
experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infection during pregnancy
can lead to miscarriage, infection of the new-born or even stillbirth.
Cook food thoroughly, especially meat so it is
Wash raw fruit and vegetables thoroughly before
Store raw food below cooked or ready- to- eat
foods in the fridge
Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made
from unpasteurized milk
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water
Keep all kitchen surfaces and equipment
including knives, chopping boards etc. clean
Consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as
soon as possible
High risk individuals void avoid food types
commonly known to harbour listeria