Beware of Listeria Dangers on Imported Fruits

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Beware of Listeria Dangers on Imported Fruits
Beware of Listeria Dangers on Imported Fruits

Consuming imported fruit is actually perfectly legal. However, you need to be careful because there have been fatalities as a result of consuming imported fruit contaminated with listeria

The bacteria Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) is very dangerous because it can cause serious infections that can be fatal, especially in children, pregnant women and fetuses, the elderly (elderly), and people who are sick or have a nervous system. weak immunity.

Beware the Dangers of Listeria in Imported Fruits - Alodokter

Recognizing Listeria Monocytogenes Bacteria

Listeria bacteria are classified as gram-positive bacteria. These bacteria are very strong and resistant to heat, acid, and s alt. These bacteria are also resistant to freezing and can continue to grow at temperatures of 0.4–45°C, with an optimal development temperature of 37°C. This means that food or fruit that has been refrigerated can still contain live listeria bacteria.

Generally, Listeria monocytogenes bacteria are found in soil, water, and animal waste. These bacteria can infect humans in various ways, such as:

  • Consumption of raw vegetables or fruit from soil or fertilizer contaminated with bacteria
  • Consumption of animal meat that is not hygienically processed
  • Consumption of non-pasteurized milk or dairy products
  • Consumption of food products from processed meat contaminated with bacteria after the production process

There are several types of imported fruit that have been withdrawn from circulation in Indonesia because they are considered contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, including imported granny smith apples from America and rock melon from Australia.

Not only that, recently, the Indonesian government also withdrew the circulation of enoki mushrooms because there were several case reports in America regarding listeria outbreaks due to consumption of enoki mushrooms from certain producers.

Symptoms of Listeria Bacterial Infection

Infection caused by listeria bacteria is known as listeriosis. Symptoms of listeriosis can appear anytime within 3–60 days after being infected with listeria bacteria. Some of the common symptoms of a listeria bacterial infection are:

  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea or diarrhea

If the infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms can include headaches, neck stiffness, confusion, loss of balance, and sometimes seizures.

Pregnant women infected with listeria may only experience mild complaints, such as flu, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. However, listeria can pose a dangerous risk to the fetus, such as:

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature labor
  • fatal serious infection in newborn

Meanwhile in the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, listeria infection can spread through the bloodstream and cause more serious disorders, such as sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis.

How to Overcome and Prevent Listeria Bacterial Infection

Treatment of listeria infection actually varies, depending on the symptoms that arise. Generally, people with listeriosis require medical treatment. The doctor will give you antibiotics to fight the listeria bacteria. Especially for newborns, the doctor may give a combination of several types of antibiotics with adjusted doses.

To prevent listeria bacterial infection, there are several ways you can do, namely:

  • Rinse raw foodstuffs under running water, including fruits and vegetables, before peeling, eating, cutting or cooking.
  • Scrub agricultural products, such as melons and cucumbers, using a clean brush. Dry the product with a clean cloth before storing.
  • Separate raw meat from vegetables, cooked food and ready-to-eat food.
  • Wash cooking utensils, including knives and cutting boards, that have been used to process raw meat, poultry, or animal products, before being used to process other food products.
  • Wash hands with soap and water before handling food and before eating.

By following the methods above, the possibility of listeria infection will be very low. You also don't need to worry too much, food that has been cleaned and cooked thoroughly is also generally safe for consumption, because these bacteria will die at a temperature of 75°C.

So, be careful when buying and processing food or fruit, including imported fruit. If you experience listeriosis symptoms within a few days after consuming imported fruit or certain types of food, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.

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