The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) can legally prevent food from being shipped, or order food recalls, if they detect any Listeria bacteria.
Listeria has been found on raw vegetables, fish, poultry, raw (unpasteurized) milk, fresh meat, processed meat (such as deli meat, hot dogs, and canned meat), and certain soft cheeses.
Complications of Listeria infection include: meningitis, sepsis, miscarriage, stillbirth, pneumonia, shock endocarditis, abscess (localized infection) formation, and eye inflammation.
However, Escherichia coli (E. coli) 0157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes, bacterial causes of food borne illnesses, have caused increased concern in developed nations.
Listeriosis is considered a food-borne illness because most people are probably infected after eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Unlike most other bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes does not stop growing when food is in the refrigerator; its growth is merely slowed.
In addition, there have been a few cases where workers have developed Listeria skin infections by touching infected calves or poultry.
Scientists suspect that Listeria monocytogenes can cause upset stomach and intestinal problems just like other food-borne illnesses.
Listeriosis is an illness caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes that is acquired by eating contaminated food.
The only way to diagnose listeriosis is to isolate Listeria monocytogenes from blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or stool.