A massive frozen vegetable recall is underway at stores like Walmart and Trader Joe’s, all due an outbreak of listeria! While authorities try to prevent this deadly disease from spreading, here are 5 things to know about listeria.
Remember how your parents told you to “eat your vegetables?” It’s time to forget that advice, because a deadly outbreak of listeria has been traced back to frozen veggies! While you check your freezer to see if it’s safe, get to know more about the disease behind this food scare!
1. Listeria is incredibly dangerous!
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on an outbreak of listeria monocytogenes bacteria on May 3, per NPR. The CDC said that frozen vegetables produced by RF Frozen Foods in Pasco, Washington are the “likely source” of this new threat. A massive frozen food recall has followed the announcement and for good reason!
Listeria is a bacteria that’s considered the “most lethal of foodborne pathogens,” according to NPR. While most healthy people can keep the infection at bay, if the bacterium gets into the bloodstream, it can cause listeriosis, which kills 1 in 5 victims. For a complete list of recalled products, click here.
2. Pregnant women, children and older people are at risk.
The CDC knows of eight people who have been infected. Two victims — one in Washington and one in Maryland — have died, though listeria is not considered the ultimate cause of death, per CBS News. Newborns and people 65 and older are at severe risk of contracting the deadly disease. Also at risk: pregnant women, who are 10 times more likely to get infected if exposed to listeria.
3. The symptoms are nasty, gross and deadly.
The common symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea, according to the Mayo Clinic. These symptoms may appear a few days after someone eats contaminated food, but someone could be infected for two months before they start showing signs of the disease. If the listeria goes untreated, a person could suffer headaches, stiff necks, a loss of balance, and even convulsions!
4. Listeria can be treated.
Treatment for a listeria infection varies, depending on the severity of the disease. Most people with mild symptoms require no treatment, while those with a serious case are given antibiotics. To prevent the spread of the disease, scrub all raw vegetables, and, of course, throw away any foods involved in the recall.
5. Listeria can turn ice cream into a deadly weapon.
In 2015, Blue Bell Creameries recalled all of its ice cream products after 10 people came down with listeria. The disease thrives in cold temperatures and fruit. In 2014, 35 people got sick off of caramel apples and a cantaloupe was behind the largest listeria attack in American history, killing 33 people in 2011.
Hopefully, this outbreak doesn’t get that bad, HollywoodLifers. Are you going to skip frozen veggies until it’s all clear?