Pasadena, CA, March 8th, 2011 -- Last month it was reported that a Northern California company voluntarily recalled a number of products that had been distributed across the Western United States. Random tests by agricultural officials of broccoli showed a positive test for Listeria monocytogenes, which then prompted the recall.
Listeria monocytogenes is a type of bacteria that is one of the most virulent foodborne pathogens. It wasn’t until 1981 that the bacterium was identified as a cause of foodborne illness. According to a fact sheet from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Every year, 2,500 Americans become sick from Listeriosis; 1 out of 5 die from the illness.”
The organism has been associated with raw milk, cheeses, ice cream, raw vegetables and some meats, poultry and fish. Listeriosis is the leading cause of death among foodborne bacterial pathogens. Fatality rates exceed both Salmonella and Clostridium botulinum. Pregnant women are at especially high risk from getting sick from the harmful bacteria found in foods. Listeriosis can cause miscarriages, premature delivery, serious sickness, or the death of a newborn baby.
Early signs of the illness may include fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea and upset stomach. People sometimes mistake the onset of the disease for the flu. Conditions may progress to a stiff neck, headaches, convulsions, loose of balance and eventual death.
LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical and a leading food testing laboratory, provides testing solutions for Listeria monocytogenes and other foodborne pathogens. “Fortunately we have not heard of any cases of illness from this recall so far,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical. “Proper testing of food products before they enter the marketplace is the way to prevent needless illness and even death from this deadly bacterium. At LA Testing we provide cutting edge foodborne pathogen testing services to protect the public and help food producers.”
About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.