Lidl warns of Listeria-contaminated cheese

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High concentrations of Listeria were found in individual samples in two types of cheese offered for sale. The grocery store "Lidl" warns against consumption and is withdrawing two types of cheese

The supermarket chain "Lidl" is withdrawing two types of cheese from sales. As the supermarket chain announced, high concentrations of Listeria were discovered in individual samples examined. Listeria bacteria cause the infectious disease listeriosis. The bacteria Listeria occur almost everywhere. Listeria are considered to be dirt germs and are particularly found in sewage, soil, and contaminated water, food and feed. Since the Listeria bacteria are more likely to be viewed as soil or putrefactive germs, the disease is also known as "geonosis" or "sapronosis". Listeria can cause a serious infectious disease called listeriosis in humans. The bacteria are mainly found in dairy or meat products that have not been properly treated for health reasons.

In addition to the two types of cheese (according to Lidl cheese products from the Austrian company Prolactal), the farmer's hand cheese with noble mold (Reinhardshof) was also recalled as a precaution. All Lidl supermarkets in the Federal Republic of Germany are affected by the recall campaign. If consumers have already bought the recalled cheeses, the purchase price can be reimbursed on presentation of a receipt, the company said.

Cheese that is contaminated with Listeria cannot be recognized by its appearance, smell or taste. Only a test in the laboratory can reveal whether the cheese is contaminated. People who have poor physical defenses are particularly at risk in this context. In addition, pregnant women are about 12 times more likely to develop listeriosis.

The course of the disease is similar to the flu. At first, the sick suffer from diarrhea and severe abdominal pain. In the further course, fever, severe headache, paralysis and drowsiness may occur. In some cases, listeriosis can also be fatal.

One of the biggest problems with diagnosis and treatment is recognizing the disease too late. There can be up to two months between infection and onset. Therefore, patients should always take symptoms seriously and see a doctor. A bacteriological examination can confirm the diagnosis and show whether listeriosis is present. A disease can be treated with antibiotics given by a doctor.

Prevention helps to reduce the risk of infection A case in Canada showed how dangerous a listeriosis disease can be. In the summer of 2008, 12 people died from eating meat products contaminated with Listeria. Prevention is still the safest prophylaxis against food infections. Meat and vegetables should always be heated sufficiently to destroy germs and bacteria. Vegetables should be carefully washed and stored separately from raw meat. Hands should always be washed thoroughly after coming into contact with raw meat or vegetables. Especially pregnant women, the elderly and patients with a weakened immune system should avoid raw meat, raw fish and raw milk products. (sb, 23.01.2010)

Author and source information

Video: CDC investigating new listeria outbreak


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