September 24, 2021

El Abuelito Listeria Pregnancy Related Illnesses Added to Outbreak Total

Two El Abuelito Listeria pregnancy related illnesses were added to the listeriosis soft cheese outbreak total last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That company's queso fresco cheese was recalled earlier this month because lab tests conducted by the Connecticut Department of Health found the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes in one sample of the product. Also last week, two more types of El Abuelito cheese were recalled: Quesillo (Oaxaca and string cheese) and Requeson (ricotta). The outbreak patient age range went from 45 to 75 with seven ill in the first outbreak notice to less than 1 year to 75 with ten sick in the latest notice, indicating that an infant was sickened. The outbreak notice states "Two illnesses are pregnancy-related." The CDC … [Read more...]

Research Finds Most Pregnant Women Don’t Know Listeria Risk in Food

Research conducted in New Zealand has found that 75% of pregnant women don't know about the Listeria risk in some foods. Some foods can be at higher risk for contamination with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which poses a special risk to pregnant women. Pregnant women are ten terms more likely than the general population to contract this infection. And this infection can cause stillbirth, premature labor, miscarriage, and infection in the newborn. Researchers surveyed 205 pregnant women between December 2017 and January 2018. While the average woman got 95% of questions right, only 25% had a perfect score. The potentially problematic foods they missed included hummus, soft and semi soft cheeses, some salads, and baked goods with added cream or custard. In the past few years, … [Read more...]

History of Listeria Outbreaks Sickening Pregnant Women

The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to imported Enoki mushrooms that was just announced has sickened six pregnant women; two of them suffered fetal loss. This is not the first time this has happened; pregnant women are at high risk for serious complications from this infection. Here's a brief history of Listeria outbreaks sickening pregnant women since 2012. In 2012, a Listeria outbreak linked to Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata sickened 22 people in 13 states; 20 people were hospitalized and four died; two of these deaths were related to listeriosis. Nine of these illnesses were related to a pregnancy; three newborns were diagnosed with listeriosis. One fetal loss was reported. The listeriosis outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupe sickened 147 people. Seven … [Read more...]

Listeria May be Serious Miscarriage Threat in Early Pregnancy

New research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and published in the journal mBio has found that Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning can be a serious miscarriage threat in early pregnancy. Scientists at the university's School of Veterinary Medicine studied how pathogens affect fetal development and change pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Ted Golos, a UW-Maidson reproductive physiologist and professor of comparative biosciences and obstetrics and gynecology said in a statement, "for many years, Listeria has been associated with adverse outcomes in pregnancy, but particularly at the end of pregnancy. What wasn’t known with much clarity before this study is that it appears it’s a severe risk factor in early pregnancy. It's striking that mom doesn't get particularly ill from … [Read more...]

Why are Pregnant Women So at Risk for Listeria Infections?

Why are pregnant women so at risk for Listeria monocytogenes infections? This population group can suffer miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature labor if this infection is contracted. And the babies can be born with listeriosis, which is life-threatening. One theory is that in pregnancy, the immune system is suppressed so the body doesn't reject the embryo and fetus. This reduction in immunity may be why these women are so susceptible to listeriosis and why the complications can be so severe. Researchers at Berkeley, however, discovered that Listeria monocytogenes bacteria use the immune system suppression to invade the placenta where they are protected from the mother's immune system. Once the bacteria are in the placenta, they can grow rapidly, then emerge to infect the … [Read more...]

How do Babies Contract Listeriosis?

In some Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning outbreaks, we tell you that infants contracted this infection. In the current listeriosis outbreak linked to recalled Vulto Creamery raw milk cheese, one of the illnesses was reported in a newborn baby. Since babies do not consume raw cow's milk or eat raw cheeses or unpasteurized juices, the most common vectors for this pathogenic bacteria, how do they get sick? Short answer: their mother was sick. When a woman eats food contaminated with this pathogenic bacteria, she can pass the infection to the fetus. And if the fetus survives, since listeriosis can cause miscarriage and stillbirth, they can be born with this infection. In the Bidart Brothers' caramel apple Listeria monocytogenes outbreak, 35 illnesses occurred in pregnant women. … [Read more...]

Holiday Food Safety for Pregnant Women

FoodSafety.gov is offering food safety tips for pregnant women this holiday season. Pregnant women must always be diligent about food safety, and especially so when attending parties and family gatherings. These women are at higher risk for food poisoning complications, especially listeriosis, the illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. A woman's immune system is weaker when she is pregnant, which makes her at greater risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Toxoplasma gondii and Listeria monocytogenes are two of the major pathogens to be concerned about. Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, infection in the newborn, or the death of a newborn. And toxoplasma gondii can cause hearing loss, blindness, and intellectual disabilities in … [Read more...]

EWG Warns of Mercury in Seafood

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has produced a new study called "U.S. Fish Advice May Expose Babies to too Much Mercury." In it, they say that "adhering to the federal government's recommendations on seafood and mercury may be risky, potentially leading women to eat too much of the wrong kind of fish." The guidelines were issued as a draft recommendation in 2014 that recommended that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding eat more fish that is lower in mercury. Their tests found that mothers who eat species of fish in the amounts recommended by the EPA and FDA may risk exposing their fetuses to harmful levels of mercury. And those species do not have enough omega-3 fatty acids that are recommended in the diet. Mercury has toxic effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, … [Read more...]

What Scientists Say about Listeria and Pregnancy

Bidart Bros. Listeria caramel apple outbreak was a grim reminder about the special threat listeriosis poses to expecting mothers and their babies. As analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  eleven of the 35 illnesses attributed to the outbreak were pregnancy-related, with one case resulting in a fetal loss. One of the expecting mothers passed the Listeria bacteria to her fetus and the baby was born with an infection that required a month of  treatment in the neo-natal intensive care unit of Lovelace Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Vanitha Janakiraman, writing in Obstetrics and Gynecology, provided in-depth information about the relationship between Listeria food poisoning and pregnancy. Infection from the pathogen is rare, but 20 more times common in … [Read more...]

Paris Researchers Find Placental Breach Mechanism for Listeria

As the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks linked to recalled caramel apples made from Bidart brothers apples, and to Queseria Bendita cheese point out, pregnant women are very susceptible to these bacterial infections. In the caramel apple outbreak, ten pregnant women were sickened; one woman suffered a fetal loss. In the Queseria Bendita cheese outbreak, one infection was associated with a pregnancy. Scientists believe that the bacteria get into the placenta and hide from the mother's immune system, letting them multiple to dangerous levels. But the placental barrier usually acts as a barrier to bacteria. What makes Listeria different? Researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Paris have found that Listeria survives and grows within the intestinal lumen (channels in the … [Read more...]

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