It seems like there are so many food outbreaks lately. The most recent scares are the Cantaloupes that were contaminated with Listeria.

While this sounds terrifying, here are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe and some general information about Listeria to help you better understand what it is we’re dealing with.

One of the tricky things about Listeria is the fact that it can be in your body for many weeks before you notice any signs at all.

The symptoms associated with this disease are fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, stiffness in the neck, confusion and convulsions. Not everyone is going to come down with each symptom, but these are all signs to watch out for if you have eaten Cantaloupe recently.

The people who are most affected by this outbreak are those with weak immune systems; meaning mainly the very young, pregnant women and the elderly.

If you are pregnant and think you may be affected, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor right away as Listeria can cause miscarriage or a stillbirth. At this time, there have not been any reports of pregnant women being affected but it’s definitely worth mentioning to keep you safe and prepared.

From what the FDA can tell, the only Cantaloupes that were affected came from Jensen Farms. If you have a Cantaloupe in your house from this farm or that says any of the following: “Colorado Grown”, “Distributed by Frontera Produce” or “Sweet Rocky Fords”, it’s best to throw them out. If you’re not sure where yours came from, don’t hesitate to go to your local store and ask.

The good news is, if you get to a doctor soon enough Listeria can be treated with antibiotics. If you feel sick within two whole months of eating a possibly affected Cantaloupe, see your doctor immediately and be sure to tell them what you have eaten.

There are many ways to avoid coming down with Listeria and here are a few very simple tips to keep your family happy and healthy. First up, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands as well as fruits before cutting or eating them.

Do not refrigerate fruit for more than a few days and place it directly in the fridge once you’re done eating. Listeria has a long incubation period and can continue growing, even when in the cold temperatures of your fridge.

If you think you may have come into contact with an infected melon, it’s best to throw it out; see your doctor (if you’re feeling sick) and wash any and all surfaces the melon may have come into contact with.

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