You might probably be under the notion that your refrigerator is the safest place to tuck in food. But, the fact is that many of the dairy and poultry products and some vegetables, despite being kept inside the fridge, are liable to be infected with a poisonous bacterium called listeria. This bacterium is found to be extremely harmful to men and is also considered as the reason behind many food-borne disease outbreaks. However, the complete pathogenical effect of listeria is yet to be found out.
Listeria is capable of surviving even under low temperature, that too for a long period of time. This bacterium is also present in many of the contaminated food materials. Among all the dairy products, listeria is found to be of the highest concentration in curd. It is also present in naturally contaminated cheese. Though their count is low, cultured buttermilk, butter and yoghurt also contain listeria. This bacterium is also present in poultry products including meat. Regardless of the treatment, this organism is capable of surviving in all forms of meat.
The listeria bacteria will remain unharmed even in extreme cold. Freezing, surface dehydration and simulated spray chilling will not pose any threat to its survival. Birds, domestic farm animals and scavengers all act as carriers and through them, human beings are also infected. Food and milk are the main sources through which they reach human body. Listeria is suited to dwell comfortably at fifteen degree Celsius on fresh vegetables stored under controlled temperature. It is also found to be increasingly present in refrigerated cooked carrot.
The clinical symptoms that are associated with adults who are infected with listeria include headaches, fever. Listerial infection easily damages nervous system. In children an attack of listeria results in respiratory irregularities, conjunctivitis, pneumonia and vomiting. Widespread rashes are also found to appear on the body surface of both young and old, if under listerial attack.