Deadly Bacteria Found In Food Escapes Sanitation

Scientists have cautioned that our attempts to shield ourselves against potentially fatal microbes could be for naught.

According to the CDC, listeria is the third most common food poisoning that results in mortality in the United States. There are around 1,600 cases of severe Listeria infections every year, with 260 fatalities. Listeria infections often cause modest symptoms, but the bacterium can travel beyond the intestines and affect other organs.

Produce sprayed with sanitizers to eradicate germs is a common practice among food producers to prevent Listeria infection. The latest research out of Penn State suggests that Listeria bacteria could circumvent conventional cleaning procedures.

Research published in Biofilm shows that Listeria bacteria can be protected from other non-pathogenic bacteria in the fruit-packing environment by forming a biofilm.

Jasna Kovac, a professor of food safety at Penn State and co-author Jasna Kovac, observed two kinds of bacteria in tree fruit packaging settings that are highly adept at creating biofilms and safeguarding Listeria monocytogenes.

Put simply, the germs shielded from the sanitizer are exposed to a significantly reduced dosage, making it easier for them to handle.

Because of these findings, we must evaluate the efficacy of popular sanitizers against the widespread benign biofilm-forming bacteria in food processing settings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against eating foods high in Listeria if you are pregnant, have impaired immune systems, or are 65 or older.

Instead of unpasteurized soft cheese, go for cream, pasteurized, or hard cheeses.

Choose warmed deli meats over unheated varieties.

Choose sprouts steamed to a scalding hot temperature rather than raw or barely cooked.

Consume melons that have been freshly cut and not left out for more than 2 hours.

A peach sample was discovered to be tainted with the Listeria outbreak strain in October 2023. Ten persons were hospitalized, and one died as a result of the epidemic.