What the Listeria outbreak means for YOU

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Listeria outbreak started in the U.S. last December with caramel apples, and recently has extended to ice cream. Today, Sabra hummus is also being recalled for listeriosis contamination.

Each year more than 250 people in the United States die from listeria.

“You never know what it can be in, like ice cream! That’s kind of scary,” says one Topeka parent.

Scary, because it all begins with food.

“Listeria is a bacterial disease. A foodborne illness, that can contaminate the foods that we eat,” says Infection Preventionist with St. Francis Health, Nancy Krohe.

Meaning that when it comes to listeria, a good meal could be one of your last.

“It can lead to death,” says Krohe.

Though anyone can get the disease, it affects elderly, infants, and pregnant women the most. Pregnant women are ten times as likely to get the listeria.

The severity of the listeria outbreak has local grocery stores on high alert.
“We pull them [recalls] immediately and we stop everything we’re doing to make sure those items don’t get sold,” Says Topeka HyVee manager, Keath Allen.

As soon as an item hits the recall list, cash registers will reject a purchase if that item is scanned.

But the real danger could actually begin in your kitchen. Listeria can affect foods such as raw meat, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

Doctors say that cleanliness is key. It includes properly storing items, as well as sanitizing your refrigerator. Krohe also suggests washing your hands before and after food preparation, as well as keeping your refrigerator at 35-40 degrees, and sanitizing your kitchen. Simple steps that could help your health.

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