Listeria: bacterial menace in frozen vegetables
Packaged frozen vegetables were recalled across Australia on 9th July 2018 amid fears of contamination by the deadly listeria bacteria.
Listeria can be fatal in newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, along with pregnant women who risk passing the illness on to the foetus. It's not that common but dangerous enough that it should be avoided.
The bacteria occurs naturally in soil and water, and can infect produce at any stage of the growing, harvest, packaging or delivery cycles. Unlike many bacteria, listeria thrives in refrigerators and freezers.
On average it takes about a month to show signs of listeriosis.Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhoea, along with headaches, sore necks, loss of balance, confusion and convulsions.
Prevent listeriosis by avoiding high risk foods. And by washing your hands, vegetables, knives and chopping boards before cooking.
If you’re concerned about an infection, see your doctor.
There are tests available to determine if you have listeriosis. And the illness can be treated with antibiotics.
Last Reviewed: 31/07/2018
Listeria risk in pregnancy
Listeria bacteria can cause serious problems during pregnancy. Listeria can be transmitted by eating contaminated food, but there are steps you can take to avoid infection.
Contaminated food and drink are the major sources of travellers' diarrhoea. High-risk regions for an attack include the majority of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, Central and South America.
Cholera is a diarrhoeal illness caused by infection of the bowel with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Many people have only mild symptoms. A vaccine is available.
Salmonella poisoning is food poisoning caused by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. It usually causes sudden fever, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Beach sand carries greater health risk than the water
Sand has more than ten times the levels of bacteria than the nearby water, adding yet another hazard to a day at the beach.