What is Listeriosis?
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis is primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems.
Listeriosis symptoms often look like other kinds of illnesses. It usually starts with stomach cramps and diarrhea, followed by fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. Pregnant women may show mild flu-like symptoms, but it can lead to miscarriages, still births, or a severe infection in the newborn.
How do you get listeriosis?
You get listeriosis by eating food contaminated with Listeria. Listeria lives in the soil, which can cling to fruits and vegetables. Animals can eat the vegetables and carry Listeria without appearing ill, which means that products from those animals also contain listeria. Babies can be born with listeriosis if their mothers eat contaminated food during pregnancy. Although healthy persons may consume contaminated foods without becoming ill, those at increased risk for infection can get listeriosis after eating food contaminated with even a few bacteria.
Cooking and pasteurizing food kills listeria. However, ready to eat foods such as deli meats and hot dogs may contain listeria if they were packaged improperly.
Listeria and the Law
Since listeriosis can be severe, many people who become ill try to sue the companies who sell contaminated food. There are several different legal theories upon which these lawsuits proceed:
Many people have sued food producers in the past for listeriosis infections. The lawsuits are complicated and can vary depending on where the victim was located and where the company was located. Be sure to consult with an attorney that specializes in food poisoning cases. She will be able to explain your options to you, including any rights you may have under previous settlements.
Reducing the Risk of Listeriosis
Even though listeriosis victims may sue food producers for their injuries, it’s best not to get sick in the first place. Here are some simple steps to help prevent listeria infection:
Contact a qualified product liability attorney to make sure your rights are protected.