This is how you can kill the threat of Listeriosis in your own home

This is how you can kill the threat of Listeriosis in your own home

There’s a right way – and a wrong way – to keep yourself safe from the Listeria bacteria

This is how you can kill the threat of Listeriosis in your own home

As South Africa nervously awaits an update on the Listeriosis outbreak which has claimed 67 lives so far, people are desperately wondering how they can stay safe from the deadly infection.

We’ve covered many bases on this topic – from safety guides, to previous outbreaks of Listeriosis – but now we’re looking outright at what kills the bacteria, and how you can keep it out of your home.

What foods are at risk of carrying Listeriosis?

  • Unprocessed foods: Raw dairy products, meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Processed foods: Deli meats, hot dogs, cheese and ice-cream. It is sometimes found in raw vegetables, too.

What kills Listeriosis?

All meats, including deli and hot dog meat, can be carriers of Listeria. However, the bacteria can be killed by cooking at high heat. The temperature required to kill off Listeriosis is 165F, or 74C. Make sure all vegetables are boiled or cooked at the suggested temperature or higher, too.

Will freezing food kill Listeriosis?

No, and this should never be attempted if you’re worried about the disease. All that freezing food produce that may contain Listeria can do is delay the growth of the bacteria. Once un-thawed, the germs continue to multiply inside of the food.

What about foods like dairy?

For dairy, only pasteurised products should be consumed by the pregnant or the elderly. They are the two demographics affected badly by Listeriosis.

How can I stop the threat of Listeriosis in the kitchen?

According to nutritional experts, Store-bought sanitisers, especially ones that contain quaternary ammonia or chlorine solutions, are effective in killing listeria. They recommend scrubbing food preparation surfaces with bleach, or the aforementioned sanitisers before cooking.

They advise waiting 10 minutes before rinsing down the surfaces, then allowing them to ‘air-dry’. All cutting boards should be vigorously washed in hot, soapy water, and food preparation washables like aprons, dishcloths and tea-towels must be washed regularly on a maximum heat setting.