Costco’s ham recall is the latest possible contamination related to Listeria, with kiwi and frozen fruit sold at Aldi and Trader Joe’s also flagged recently. According to the Mayo Clinic, the bacterial illness may cause minor symptoms in healthy people, but it can be very serious and even fatal for newborns and those with weak or compromised immune systems. Pregnant people are much more likely to develop Listeria infections and, while they may not be adversely affected, their babies often are.
According to the FDA, approximately 1,600 people get Listeria every year, and 94% of those people end up needing to be hospitalized. In addition to that, the mortality rate for the illness is 20-30%, so for those most susceptible to the illness, it’s best to always follow food safety rules and guidelines.
To avoid Listeria infections, make sure all cooking and eating utensils are clean. It’s always wise to always scrub vegetables before eating, and make sure foods that contain meat or eggs are cooked to a safe temperature. A food thermometer is a great investment that helps you be sure your food is cooked correctly, even if your oven temperature is off a bit.