Listeriosis is a serious but rare infection, mainly caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that incidence of listeriosis varies between 0.1 and 11.3 cases per 1,000,000 per year in different countries. Reports of listeriosis in countries of South East Asia are scarce. The disease remains largely undiagnosed and under-reported.
However, Listeria monocytogenes has been found to be one of the causative factors for spontaneous abortions and premature births in India. Listeria species are found in soil, water, effluents, a large variety of foods, and the feces of humans and animals. However, only Listeria monocytogenes and, rarely, L. ivanovii are pathogenic for humans, out of ten known Listeria species.
From reported analyses of a variety of foods for Listeria, milk and milk products, meat and meat products, seafood and vegetables have been reported to be contaminated in India (Barbuddhe et al. Int J Food Microbiol 2012). Therefore, it follows that lab testing for Listeria is an important aspect of food safety, especially for Food Business Operators (FBO). Food can become contaminated with Listeria at any stage of the process – from farm to plate! Hence, the need for testing.
Our testing services are backed by a strong team of over 250 experienced staff and we use state-of-the equipment and techniques for the analysis of all food items to test for various types of pathogens.
Infections occur due to changing food habits, technological advancements for longer shelf-life of food products, and the ability of this microorganism to survive and continue to grow even in the refrigerator. This is indeed a problem for food handlers, since their food is not safe even under refrigeration. Outbreaks have been associated with raw vegetables, soft cheeses, undercooked chicken, fish, meat and pâtés. Pregnant women, the young and old, and those with weak immunity are especially vulnerable.
A person with listeriosis has fever, muscle pain, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions can occur. Complications include septicemia, meningitis, encephalitis, and in some cases, death. In pregnancy, in addition to systemic symptoms of fever and muscle pain, listeriosis causes fetal deaths, abortions and infections leading to death of newborns.
The disease can be treated by antibiotics, but since the bug is resistant to many of the available antibiotics, the stress should be on prevention. Proper treatment of foods before eating is the key to preventing listeriosis. The Listeria in food is drastically reduced or killed by pasteurization and cooking. Pregnant women are advised to avoid high-risk products, including soft cheeses.
Our well-equipped laboratory has been identified as one of the top five laboratories in the country and is certified by NABL, FSSAI, BIS, CDSCO, ISM&H, APEDA, EIC/EIA, and AGMARK.
Please contact us today using the quick query form on the right or by calling us now on +91-11-45754575 to get your food samples tested for Listeria.