Author Topic: What's the deal with Listeria?  (Read 17213 times)

Offline here-n-there-a-little

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What's the deal with Listeria?
« on: December 05, 2006, 09:53:14 AM »
Well, now that I am pregnant, I get to worry about this mysterious Listeria again.  I can never seem to find any concrete or sufficeint information on it.  One website will say it is only in x, y, & z.  And another will say a, b, & c as well as x, y, & z!  My dilemma is amplified by the fact that I am trying to get some protein foods prepared and ready ahead of time for 'if' or 'when' I become extremely sick from the pregnancy!

I read one of the comments here about Raw Milk not being very dangerous, but the statistics did not match what I found on two websites.  Two websites quoted that 2500 cases of listeria are reported per year with 450-500 deaths per year.  And that 80% of pregnancies result in baby's death if the mother get's Listeriosis.  These quotes are much higher than an individual posted on the Raw Milk thread.

So, what should I really be concerned about??  Which foods are truly at risk?  I would love to be able to get fresh cut deli meats and eat them for protein, but I hate microwaving them because they get all crispy on the edges.  Yuck!  I have no problem not eating hotdogs and prepackaged meats... we don't do that now so that's no loss.  But what about the other things that they claim have listeria?

What about probiotics?  Am I less at risk if I am taking Tummy Tune-up?
So many questions and can't seem to find solid info on the web.

Offline KatieMac

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 11:58:37 AM »
I wondered about that too...I miss my feta cheese!  :-\

The other day I ate some questionable shrimp (it was delicious!) and right before I ate it I popped 3 Tummy Tune-Ups. I believe that Gabe said on another thread that a strong GI tract full of good bacteria was the best defense against food poisoning.

Offline here-n-there-a-little

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 01:08:57 PM »
OK.  I found some information on the FDA's website.  So THEY say:

'Do not eat hot dogs and luncheon meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
Do not eat soft cheese such as feta, brie, and Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, queso blanco, queso fresco, and Panela, unless it is labeled as made with pasteurized milk.
Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads. Canned or shelf-stable pâtés and meat spreads may be eaten.
Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel, is most often labeled as "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky." These fish are found in the refrigerated section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens. Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood may be eaten.
Do not drink unpasteurized milk or eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.'

I have read numerous people say they drink raw milk while pregnant if they KNOW their farmer.  I think that's fair and I'll probably do the same thing.  One site said that ICE CREAM should not be eaten... can't figure that one out.

So I am assuming, if I heeded the FDAs recommendation, that a pregnant person cannot eat at deli type restaurants???  What do you think about this?  Any feedback would be helpful. 


Offline petrimama

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2006, 02:18:14 PM »
I was the one who posted on the other thread and I looked into it a bit more afterward.
Okay, yes, there is a risk from these foods (ice cream???).  However, it is very slim if proper cleaning, cooling and storage techniques are used.  Plus, there is a risk of many other types of food poisoning from many other sources (including pasteurized dairy), but a woman still has to eat so really it all comes down to a judgement call.  For instance, the farm I buy milk from is very small and the mom is pregnant and trusts the milk, so I do too.  Yet I wouldn't trust the raw milk in the healthfood store that comes from a large dairy and is shipped two hours.  I also wouldn't eat at Subway where the cold cuts sit out all day (and there was just an outbreak in my hometown branch!!), but I ate at a Chinese buffet when it first opened and they began filling the trays with fresh steaming food right in front of me.  Remember, not only is the result of Listeriosis more devastating when a woman in pregnant, but she is also at a higher risk for being affected by a smaller concentration of the bacteria during this time.
As far as heating cold cuts goes, I would be more concerned with the effects of the microwave, honestly.  But that's a whole different thread.  ;)  We rarely eat cold cuts but when we do I usually slice a ham/turkey, etc. at home and freeze it.  It tastes much better, too.  Then again, my mom came over with grocery store meat for lunch one day and I ate it with a thankful heart.  So, like I said...it's a judgement call.  A little feta cheese in your salad once in a while is one thing, but leftover McDonalds is another.  I say read a lot, believe a little and use wisdom.   ~L

Nickole

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2006, 05:45:32 PM »
I understand your concern - we started drinking raw milk right before I got pregnant with my third.  I also had heard about the Listeria thing and was worried.  That seemed to be the only real danger to me being pregnant.  My provider could offer no concrete guarantee but mentioned that the stories he had heard regarding miscarriages from women getting Listeria were from soft Mexican cheeses.  I thought that was interesting so I did decide to stay away from those cheeses, although I did not stay away from Feta or anything else for that matter (I never eat deli meats anyway).  I went back and forth about the milk and I agree it is just a judgment call.  I finally decided, after prayer, that it was best to drink the milk and take that tiny risk.  ALTHOUGH I have a new provider now, who is pregnant at the moment and I would feel confident drinking the milk since she does too.  Listeria is a bit of a mystery to them too, but they believe it probably comes from cows walking all over their feces, which is how most bacteria is spread to the milk in confinement dairies.  I hope this helps some!

 

Offline mamasboys

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2006, 02:50:24 PM »
Are they physical signs that would indicate that you have contracted Listeria??  I'm 2 weeks overdue and I've been drinking raw cows milk for most of my pregnancy from a neighbor down the road.  Would I know if I have this and if my baby is at risk or do I need to be tested for it??  I'm a little worried now  :o

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2006, 04:18:27 PM »
Here is a site for listeria symptoms:

http://www.pritzkerlaw.com/listeria-symptoms/

And a friend of ours also said that when she and her siblings contracted listeria from drinking raw cow's milk in Japan, they got sores all over their mouths.  They were not eating any yogurt or cultured/fermented foods to help their digestion, and I feel certain that healthy cows and healthy guts are the most important issues here.  if you have healthy guts you can tolerate most things. 

I still wouldn't eat luncheon meat or use the microwave, but that's just my personal preference (they're scary).
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Offline Melie

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2006, 08:48:14 PM »
What is the big concern about Deli meats?  I eat sliced turkey from Trader Joes every now and then and put it on my husband's sandwiches every day.  I am pregnant.  I never buy them from a normal grocery store.  I don't really know if there is a difference though.  I do take probiotics almost daily.

Offline here-n-there-a-little

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2006, 05:40:36 AM »
Apparently deli meats are very prone to getting the Listeria bacteria.  I have heard, but don't know as a fact, that packaged deli meats are more suseptible than freshly sliced meats.  The whole process of foods GETTING contaminated with Listeria is a mystery to me. 

I too am taking probiotics daily (trying to combate preg sickness), and can't help but wonder if that isn't going to help fight any listeria we come into contact with (for me in raw milk)??  Does anyone out there who knows more about Tummy Tune up and Kefir know if it would kill off any listeria we come into contact with?

Offline craig7

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2007, 04:02:56 PM »
I have read through the listeria thread and could not find these questions answered.  Any thoughts would be helpful!!!!  We are moving next to a dairy farmer who will give me raw milk.  His farm seems clean and his family uses the milk raw.  His wife recently had a miscarriage and now I am leary of using the raw milk because I am pregnant. 

If you use raw milk in baking, cooking, etc. is the listeria risk still present for the unborn baby???  Also, can I use it to make my Kefir and then put the Kefir in my bread???  Can you use the raw milk with young children??  How young??

I hope this reply gets read.  I felt these questions fit here, but still do not have this forum thing down very well.  Anyway, Please give me any information regarding these questions.  You all are more knowledgeable than I in this area.  I want to trust God for the health of our 6th child, but I want to be wise and not put it at undo risk.  Thank you, Laura

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2007, 04:14:18 PM »
I'm glad I'm not the only one who is leery of raw milk.  I drink it, and I give it to my 2 1/2 year old (along with plenty of TTU and yogurt).  I do believe that homogenization is very bad, but it doesn't seem to me that pasteurizing is bad for you-- just that when you pasteurize the milk (or cheese) then the good bacteria is lost with the bad bacteria, and then the milk just isn't as good as it could be.  Am I right? 

We've considered pasteurizing our milk ourselves to kill any bacteria (I do not believe there to be any; my farmer is very dependable).  But last week our son was ill for a day after re-introducing raw milk (one of the cows went dry and we hadn't had it for a few months) and I couldn't sleep all night.  He is fine, but still, I don't want to get too concerned every time he is ill that perhaps he has meningitis or something very serious.
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Offline here-n-there-a-little

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2007, 05:10:23 PM »
If you use raw milk in baking, cooking, etc. is the listeria risk still present for the unborn baby???  Also, can I use it to make my Kefir and then put the Kefir in my bread???  Can you use the raw milk with young children??  How young??

Listeria is killed through pasturization and heat.  So if someone were to bake or cook with raw milk, you would be doing the same as pasturizing does.  Also, only people who have compromised immune systems are at risk of suffering from Listeriosis.  That means pregnant people and their babies. 

For me personally, I decided not to drink raw milk right now.  I don't know enough about my farmer to take that risk.  However, I have NO qualms about giving it to my 20 month old daughter and husband.  I also make kefir out of it and consume it myself because I figure (but don't know this as fact) that the culturing process kills the listeria if it is there. 

Pasturization does kill good things in milk.  I believe our digestive systems are all out of wack for many reasons and all of the pasturization and lack of fermentation we do contribute to that.  But you can read more about that on the milk thread.

Over the Christmas holiday I talked with my parents about the milk they consumed growing up.  They both grew up on farms.  They both had their own milk cows.  My mom's father pasturized their milk.  My dad's did not.  He grew up in a family of six children.  Evidently listeria, or anything else for that matter, didn't hurt them.

Offline craig7

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2007, 05:24:37 PM »
Thank you for the in-put.  Will my "good"  immune system protect my unborn baby???  Cannot infections attack the baby regardless of my taking TTU???  That would be my concern.  I just do not want to risk miscarriage??  Thanks Laura

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2007, 05:28:06 PM »
Found this on the web about listeria and pregnancies:

About one-third of all confirmed cases of listeriosis are pregnant women. Listeria symptoms in pregnant women may be so mild that the woman does not know she has been infected with the bacteria. However, the Listeria bacteria also infect the unborn baby and can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth. Infants born with Listeria infections (listeriosis) are generally gravely ill and some die. If you were pregnant and ate at Portillo's and then had a miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth, you should contact a Listeria attorney immediately


I don't know if I would have the self-control to stay away from it if I were pregnant. ;)  I It just tastes so good, but perhaps it is wise to hold back.  Are there any other pregnant mamas who drink raw?  Just curious. 

Nickole

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2007, 05:32:55 PM »
I don't know if I would have the self-control to stay away from it if I were pregnant. ;)  I It just tastes so good, but perhaps it is wise to hold back.  Are there any other pregnant mamas who drink raw?  Just curious. 


I drank it during my last pregnancy, but I refuse to give anyone a go-ahead.  I felt fine about it, prayed about it, knew my farmers, she drank it pregnant.  Those were my green lights in my eyes.  I really think you should find out how clean your farmers are, ask about if THEY worry about Listeria (I did) and why not if they don't and then pray.   

Offline Whiterock

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2007, 06:38:24 PM »
I am pregnant and I am drinking raw milk. It is a personal choice. I am sometimes uneasy (what mother doesn't worry), but I have been watching very closely for any signs of illness and have not felt anything that would make me think I have been exposed to listeria (they say even mild cases would feel a bit like the flu). If I thought I had, I would ask for a test to find out right away. Again, it is a personal choice.
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Nickole

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2007, 06:52:16 PM »
I had a little tinge of worry here and there too, but still felt it was fine.  You could always get your milk tested for listeria.  Not sure how much that is though!

Offline here-n-there-a-little

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2007, 06:06:12 AM »
I don't know if I would have the self-control to stay away from it if I were pregnant. ;)  I It just tastes so good, but perhaps it is wise to hold back. 

I tell you what: our decision that I not drink the raw milk has NOT been an easy one.  It is one of the things that I am CRAVING!!!  I might do it if I have more knowledge and peace about our farmer, but until then, we choose not to.  For the time being, we will let me drink some milk from an organic, grass fed farm that does everything right but they pasturize it.  It is better than store bought and no risk of listeria.

Offline ShabbyChic

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2007, 07:58:34 AM »
Our healthfood store has barely pasteurized (as opposed to ultra pasteurized) unhomogenized milk for pretty enexpensive.  But it's over an hour from my house, so that's too far, but my neighbors are driving out there while they are on the raw milk waiting list.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2007, 09:55:04 AM »

Here is a discussion about raw milk consumption during pregnancy (listeria issues).
Thought some of you might be interested...
www.dairygoatinfo.com/viewtopic.php?t=1475

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Offline here-n-there-a-little

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2007, 10:54:04 AM »

Here is a discussion about raw milk consumption during pregnancy (listeria issues).
Thought some of you might be interested...
www.dairygoatinfo.com/viewtopic.php?t=1475


Interesting post!  Thanks HB!

Offline babymakers

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2007, 05:27:54 PM »
I would be just as concerned with drinking regular store bought milk with all the hormones, antibiotics and homogenization!!! :o

I drink raw milk. I also know my source of milk though. It is not a back hills slop hole that might get contaminated. That is why I don't worry about it. If I didn't know what my source was like I would be more cautious.
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Offline bakermom

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2007, 01:20:20 AM »
I drank it and didn't have a problem.  We get it from the neighbor.

Offline snickerdoodle

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2007, 08:10:22 PM »
We went to the dairy farm and got our first raw milk last weekend.  Monday I woke up feeling achy and stiff.  All of Tuesday, all last night  and today I have had severe diarrhea and fever.  I know it would be awfully fast onset of symptoms, but it has me and my dh concerned.

We thought (kinda still think) it is the stomach flu, there's one going around, but DH asked me if it could be the milk so I got back on and checked out the listeria symptoms again.  Mine are spot on with the list...  :(   Then again DH just called one of the guys from work who had the stomach flu and my symptoms are spot on with what he had too.   :-\

Nobody else in the family has any symptoms. 
 
     

Offline diaperswyper

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2007, 02:04:06 AM »
     Don't know except we've been drinking raw milk for a yr and half and no problems and i know probably 10 familes that started drinking raw milk within the same time frame and not a single one has had a problem.

YoopreMama

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2007, 02:48:08 AM »
We went to the dairy farm and got our first raw milk last weekend.  Monday I woke up feeling achy and stiff.  All of Tuesday, all last night  and today I have had severe diarrhea and fever.  I know it would be awfully fast onset of symptoms, but it has me and my dh concerned.

We thought (kinda still think) it is the stomach flu, there's one going around, but DH asked me if it could be the milk so I got back on and checked out the listeria symptoms again.  Mine are spot on with the list...  :(   Then again DH just called one of the guys from work who had the stomach flu and my symptoms are spot on with what he had too.   :-\  Nobody else in the family has any symptoms.
I am sorry for you being sick! :(  I recall that when we switched over last summer, soon after I came down w/ something similar and was the only one in the family w/ it.  It cleared up and I wondered if there was just some "adjustment" to the milk?  ???

Offline snickerdoodle

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2007, 09:05:58 AM »
We went to the dairy farm and got our first raw milk last weekend.  Monday I woke up feeling achy and stiff.  All of Tuesday, all last night  and today I have had severe diarrhea and fever.  I know it would be awfully fast onset of symptoms, but it has me and my dh concerned.

We thought (kinda still think) it is the stomach flu, there's one going around, but DH asked me if it could be the milk so I got back on and checked out the listeria symptoms again.  Mine are spot on with the list...  :(   Then again DH just called one of the guys from work who had the stomach flu and my symptoms are spot on with what he had too.   :-\  Nobody else in the family has any symptoms.
I am sorry for you being sick! :(  I recall that when we switched over last summer, soon after I came down w/ something similar and was the only one in the family w/ it.  It cleared up and I wondered if there was just some "adjustment" to the milk?  ???

Well, I seem to be recovering.  BM's are still loose and frequent but the cramping has subsided and the fever has broke.  Now I feel a little like I might vomit, but so far I haven't.     

My dd got up this morning complaining of stomach cramping. :(  But the upside to that is that this is most likely the stomach virus that is going around, because in healthy people without a compromised immune system (such as pregnant women and the elderly), it usually takes a few weks to develop the symptoms of listeria.  I never thought I would see an upside to one of my children having a stomach virus. :-\

At first I thought this might be an 'adjustment' thing too, but the all over body ache and fever makes me think it is more likely a virus. 

 

Offline snickerdoodle

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2007, 08:42:47 AM »
Thanks for your concern Yoopermama.  I'm sure now that it was a stomach flu that's going around our area.  DH is now dealing with it too.  Fortunately he seems to be fighting it off more effectively than I am. 

An important point is that we have decided to go ahead with the cow share program and drink our raw milk. 

Offline bizymum

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2008, 03:21:34 AM »
Here's an article I found today linking listeria contamination with pasturized milk!  I found it interesting since that is a main argument used to say that raw milk is unsafe....Seems that pasturization may not be as guaranteed as they'd like us to think..... :o  Seems that safe and clean dairies would be a much better safe guard from contamination.....

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,321171,00.html

Offline Amelia

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Re: What's the deal with Listeria?
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2013, 12:45:36 AM »
Here is the list of foods that may cause listeria in pregnant women:
- deli meats (such as ham and salami) and meat spread;
- ready-to-eat foods;
- refrigerated pâtés (canned pâtés may be eaten);
- smoked and raw seafood;
- soft and blue-veined cheeses;
- canned juices;
- raw milk;
- contaminated vegetables.

Here you can read more about listeria symptoms and treatment. To prevent listeria you should wash fruit and vegetables and cook other foods properly.