Keep Listeria out of your kitchen

If you eat food contaminated with bacteria called Listeria, you could get so sick that you have to be hospitalized. And for certain vulnerable people, the illness could be fatal.

Unlike most bacteria, Listeria germs can grow and spread in the refrigerator. So if you unknowingly refrigerate Listeria-contaminated food, the germs could infect the other foods there and increase the likelihood that you and your family will become sick.

A multi-state outbreak of listeriosis—the illness caused by Listeria—tied to contaminated cantaloupes has caused illnesses and deaths. Listeria has also been linked to a variety of ready-to-eat foods.

To keep yourself and your family safe, make sure your refrigerator is set at 40 degrees F or less; carefully clean all food preparation surfaces; and wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.

Get more advice on how to keep Listeria and other germs at bay at

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm274114.htm

Sign up for e-mail notices of new FDA Consumer Updates at

https://service.govdelivery.com/service/subscribe.html?code=USFDA_9

View the FDA Consumer Update RSS feed at http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/ContactFDA/StayInformed/RSSFeeds/Consumers/rss.xml

FDA Consumer Updates may be posted and published elsewhere without permission. Please credit "FDA Consumer Health Information (www.fda.gov/consumer)" as the source. FDA values feedback on its consumer health information. Send questions, comments, or story ideas to: consumerinfo@fda.hhs.gov.