We wrote in May about how to avoid the listeria bacteria that lives in your fridge, but over the last two months a new source of listeria has claimed 13 lives and sickened hundreds more: cantaloupes.

First, know that only people with weakened immune systems are at risk; the elderly are disproportionately affected by this outbreak. Another group who needs to be concerned is pregnant women: stillborns and newborns who succumb to severe infection are the second most affected group (having no immune system).

What Are The Symptoms Of Listeria?

Symptoms of listeria can take up to two weeks to appear, so even though it’s been recalled anyone who’s eaten cantaloupe (or had it in their fridge) after about July 31st may be at risk.

Symptoms of Listeria:

  • Food poisoning symptoms including stomach cramps/pain, diarrhea, or other changes/problems.
  • Infection symptoms including fatigue, fever, muscle and joint ache/pain.

Severe symptoms of listeria include extreme fatigue, and mental changes like confusion.

Avoid Symptoms of Listeria:

Wash and cook food from the fridge (reheating deli meat, for example). If it’s still warm in your area, try grilling fruit. Make sure to periodically clean your fridge, removing shelves and drawers and washing with warm soapy water.

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