Sprouts on a ForkIf you’re following the ongoing recalls on our social media accounts, you’ve probably noticed Listeria is behind a lot of them these days.

During winter, most stomach flus are caused by things like Norovirus, which is highly contagious and spread between people or contaminated items (a counter, unwashed hands, etc.).

During summer, it’s not as much direct human fault as it is lack of care letting germs grow—in particular, processed fruits and vegetables (pre-sliced, chopped, and sometimes frozen), sprouts, and meals with certain fruits or vegetables.

Now’s the time to start shifting from watching for pale/green food workers to paying attention to recalls and where food is sourced and processed.

The best way to avoid Listeria is to prepare food yourself, and to follow food safety guidelines like cooking to safe temperatures, keeping food appropriately hot or cold, and washing surfaces, hands, and kitchen tools frequently.

Listeria symptoms can be easily managed for most people, and range from stomach upset to muscles aches. For people with weakened immune systems (especially the old, young, and pregnant) Listeria symptoms are serious business and can have hospital-worthy side-effects.

Since you can’t perfectly control everything you eat, take some extra precautions and support your gastrointestinal tract. A great way to start is by supporting your good bacteria—get some probiotics in your diet (by supplement or fermented food) then make sure there’s lots of prebiotics in your diet (like garlic and onions—although almost anything you eat regularly will shape what kind of bacteria you cultivate).

You can also broadly support your immune system with colloidal silver, so that you’re ready for stomach illness and anything else that comes your way.

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