A bacterium called listeria has been the subjects of many medical news headlines recently.
Sabra Dipping Co. announced that it will recall more than 30,000 cases of hummus because they were thought to be contaminated with the listeria bacteria.
According to the medical experts, once listeria infects a person, it causes symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and cramps.
The US Food and Drug Administration said there have not been any cases of illnesses reported so far.
Although most people who suffer from listeriosis will get better, if the listeria bacterium invades the bloodstream, spinal cord or the patient’s brain with a weak immune system and cannot fight the bacteria, it can be fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who can be affected by a serious listeria infection are pregnant women, the newborn infants, people who are older than 64 and people who have a weak immune system because of diseases like cancer or HIV.
Medical experts say that a listeria infection can lead to miscarriage and preterm labor, as well as meningitis, inflammation of the brain membrane and spinal cord. It can also lead to encephalitis, which is the inflammation of the brain.
According to recent reports, approximately 1,600 American people get infected with listeria annually. CDC says it’s likely that more people who have symptoms like cramps, diarrhea and nausea are actually infected with listeria but choose not to go to a doctor for a correct diagnosis. Instead, they prefer to treat themselves with over-the-counter medications.
Also, listeria is the third form of food poisoning that is fatal in the US. CDC officials said that approximately 48 million Americans get food poisoning every year, and almost 3,000 die because of this.
The hummus recall happened before there was any listeria contamination and no one got sick.
Bill Marler, a food safety attorney from Seattle, said that the listeria bacterium was discovered during a routine food inspection by the Michigan food officials. They were inspecting some food items in a Kroger supermarket when they discovered that the hummus was infected, according to Marler.
The hummus recall was a very efficient move because it took the products off the market before anyone consumed it and got sick. Also, this helps companies be more careful in these manufacturing facilities.
“Once that bug gets into a cold, damp environment, it’s really hard to get rid of. Hopefully, this will prompt more frequent cleaning and environmental testing within facilities.”
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