SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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
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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration