Health Alert – Listeria Infections

Listeria Infections

The following represents a compilation of the precautions recommended by FSIS and the US Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention. The general recommendations include: 

  • Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
  • Wash raw vegetables thoroughly before eating.
  • Keep the refrigerator temperature at 40ºF (4.4ºC) or lower; the freezer at 0ºF (-17.8ºC) or lower.
  • Eat precooked, perishable, or ready-to-eat food as soon as possible.
  • Keep raw meat, fish, and poultry separate from other food that will not be cooked and from cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after handling uncooked food


Thoroughly cook raw food from animal sources to a safe internal temperature: ground beef 160ºF (71ºC); chicken 170ºF (77ºC); turkey 180ºF (82ºC); the following additional recommendations were made for individuals at high risk uch as pregnant women and those who are immunocompromised:

  • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, bologna, or other delicatessen meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot; avoid the use of microwave ovens for reheating such meats since uneven cooking may occur [40].
  • Avoid contamination of utensils and food preparation surfaces with fluid from packages containing hot dogs, luncheon meats, delicatessen meats, raw meat, chicken, turkey, or seafood. Hand washing is also important immediately after handling of any of these products.
  • Do not eat prepackaged salads containing ham, chicken, egg, tuna, or seafood.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, and Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, or Mexicanstyle cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, and Panela, unless they have labels that
    clearly state they are made from pasteurized milk.
  • Do not eat refrigerated pates or meat spreads. However, canned or shelf-stable products are safe and can be eaten by pregnant women.
  • Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is cooked as in 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.” Such fish products are typically found in
    the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens. However,
    canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood may be eaten.