Three weeks ago (July 2018), a pregnant lady ate a contaminated fruit from her fridge and her unborn baby tragically died in the womb as a result. This heart-wrenching incident happened in Zhejiang, China where the mother was five months into the pregnancy.
According to China Press, the lady in her 20s suffered from fever and headache not long after she consumed the fruit. At first, her body temperature was measured at 37.7°C but it soon began fluctuating to abnormal temperatures.
When her family was sure that she was having a high fever, they immediately sent her to the hospital but it was too late. Through ultrasound, the doctor found out that the baby in her womb had already died.
Dr Leong who’s the gynaecologist said,
“The pregnant mother was infected with Listeria monocytogenes. There was raw meat in the fridge and it became the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria. The fruits were contaminated with the bacteria because they were not stored separately from the raw meat.”
The doctor went on to say that Listeria monocytogenes can survive in the fridge and continue breeding at low temperatures. In fact, it can even survive at an extreme temperature of minus 20°C for up to one year!
It is not dangerous to perfectly healthy adults but it can prove fatal to unborn babies or newborns, and individuals with weak immune systems. In this case, the bacteria had infected the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and subsequently the baby.
We did some research and found out that Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water, and animal faeces. People who consume the following food are at greater risk of contracting the disease as well!
- Raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil
- Contaminated meat
- Unpasteurised milk, or food made with unpasteurised milk
- Processed food such as soft cheeses, hot dogs, and deli meats that have been contaminated
To prevent listeria infection, we’re advised to keep our hands clean while preparing our food, clean raw vegetables with a brush under running water, and cook our food thoroughly to kill the bacteria.
Also, pregnant mothers are advised to reheat any deli meats from the fridge before consuming it to be on the safe side.
More information about listeria infection is available here. So guys, keep your food clean and make sure it’s fully cooked!
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