Jun 16, 2019 | Updated: 11:54 AM EDT

Avocado Contamination with Listeria in 6 States

Mar 26, 2019 01:45 PM EDT

Avocado Contamination with Listeria
(Photo : Lisa Fotios)

Avocado Lovers: Beware!

It has been found that a batch of green avocados shipped from the Henry Avocado Corporation based in California has been contaminated with listeria. So the company is recalling quite voluntarily avocados shipped to no less than six states such as Arizona, Florida, California, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and North Carolina. This was declared by the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration of America.

What is Listeria

Listeria or Listeria monocytogenes, a common type of pathogenic microbe grows in water, soil and also in certain animals. This bacterium is said to cause what is called a listeriosis infection. According to the FDA, listeria can cause some unpleasantness among healthy people, although not very serious. Symptoms can consist of fever and diarrhea which is usually evident a few weeks after people are exposed to the microbe, although some can get sick on the very day that consumed the infected food.

An FDA report of 2018 says that listeria remains extensive on the skin of avocado fruit. Nearly one out of five avocados produced in America contains at least some listeria on its skin, but none in the pulp.

Who Is At Risk

Expectant women as well as others with fragile immune systems can be at the risk of Listeriosis making this a grave predicament for babies, pregnant women, elderly people as also those with weak immune systems such as cancer, HIV and patients who have undergone transplants.

How to Prevent Listeria Infection

Wash avocados in fresh, running water prior to cutting and eating them. The US Department of Health and Human Services suggests that it is a good thing to scrub the external part of the fruit using a clean brush, and dry them by means of a paper towel, or piece of clean cloth before cutting them as this can further decrease the number of bacteria present.

Anyone who is susceptible to listeria infection should stay away from products made from raw milk as also rare meat. Apart from avocados, contamination can also be traced to sprouts, melons, smoked seafood, and cold cuts.

Wash your hands using tepid soapy water before cooking food and regular cleaning of cutting boards after use also help. Since listeria thrives inside refrigerators, it is important to keep them clean to make them free of listeria.

Listeria is not a problem for healthy people, but it still remains the third cause of death due to food poisoning in America. According to CDC reports more or less 1,600 persons are affected by listeriosis every year. It is lethal for around one out of five people who are unfortunate to get it. In fact, nearly 260 people lose their lives due to listeriosis infections each year, although it can be treated by means of antibiotics. Expectant mothers ought to be particularly careful as listeriosis causes fetal death in around one in five cases.

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