Listeriosis is a Normally Rare, but Potentially Serious Food Poisoning
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Listeriosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. It can kill about 20% of those infected - usually the elderly, newborn infants and people with compromised immune systems. The median incubation period is 21 days, with diarrhea lasting anywhere from 1-3 days. It is relatively rare and occurs primarily in newborn infants, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

Listeria is very common in the environment. Infection is mainly through contaminated food products. It has been isolated from raw meat, dairy products, vegetables, and seafood. Soft cheeses, non pasteurized milk and non pasteurized pâté are potential dangers.

A listeria outbreak can happen quite commonly in some farm settings where is it infectious from the soil and from poorly-made silage but not contagious between animals. It is also found in wild animals.

The first documented case of listeriosis was in 1924. Listeria is named after Joseph Lister who promoted antiseptic use.


Seek medical aid. Drink lots of fluids. At the first indication of possible food poisoning take several charcoal tablets. Activated charcoal is a wonderful remedy that everyone should have on hand. It adsorbs many poisons and toxins. Be aware that it will absorb drugs including Syrup of Ipecac that might be taken to induce vomiting in cases of food poisoning.

Other natural treatments include a dropper full of alcohol-free goldenseal (a natural antibiotic) extract taken every four hours. Milk thistle and red clover aid in liver and blood cleansing.

Garlic is a natural antibiotic and may help prevent bacterial growth.

If food poisoning occurred from eating at a public place, notifying health authorities may limit the exposure of others.

Positive diagnosis is through a blood test.

If you think you are at risk or suspect you might have an infection see the page on listeriosis symptoms, risks and prevention.

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