Listeria outbreak in the midwest: what you need to know


Morgan Koeltzow, News Editor


The companies like: King Soopers (their chicken salad), Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Target are affected the most by the recalls. Consumers be aware that not everything and every company is affected but wash raw vegetables, clean your cutting boards and utensils, and always be aware of the risks. Links to several websites with more information will be below this story. The table below is directly from Food Safety.Gov and has more information on the medical aspects of Listerosis

Listeria is a genus of bacteria that, until 1992, contained 10 known species, each containing two subspecies. As of 2014, another five species were identified. Recently there were recalls for major because they could possibly contain listeria.

  • Ready-to-eat deli meats and hot dogs
  • Refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads
  • Unpasteurized (raw) milk and dairy products
  • Soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk, such as queso fresco, Feta, Brie, Camembert
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood
  • Raw sprouts
Incubation Period 3-70 days
Symptoms Fever, stiff neck, confusion, weakness, vomiting, sometimes preceded by diarrhea
Duration of Illness Several Days to a few weeks
Who’s at Risk?
  • Older adults
  • Pregnant women
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Organ transplant patients who are receiving drugs to prevent the body from rejecting the organ
  • People with certain diseases, such as:
    • HIV/AIDS or other autoimmune diseases
    • Cancer
    • End-stage renal disease
    • Liver disease
    • Alcoholism
    • Diabetes
What Do I Do? If you are very ill with fever or stiff neck, consult your doctor immediately. Antibiotics given promptly can cure the infection and, in pregnant women, can prevent infection of the fetus.

The people who should be most careful are pregnant women. The symptoms are mild but will cause severe birth defects for the unborn child. Listeria (listeriosis) is treated by steroids. The unborn baby and mother both can receive steroids, usually a combination of several until the cause is officially diagnosed as listeriosis. Those who are  not with child usually do not receive treatment. Things to be especially aware of: Ready-to-eat deli meats, hot dogs, Soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk, queso fresco, Feta, Brie, Camembert, Refrigerated smoked seafood,and Raw sprouts. Do be especially careful of coleslaw, pre-prepared meals from the deli and anything that is raw when you buy.

The CDC      Food Safety.Gov