listeria: dangerous bacterium causing listeriosis

listeria hospitalizes nearly 85% of all its victims - is especially dangerous to . . .Listeria is often transmitted via fresh fruits and vegetables, smoked fish, unpasteurized cheese, among other foods.

By Texas Listeria Lawyer Tony Coveny  

There are currently a number of recalls in effect due to the presence of Listeria, including Sabra Hummus and Blue Bell Ice Cream  (see below for more info, or contact me now about your illness by clicking here).  Listeria is common in smoked fish, cold meats, and unpasteurized cheese and raw milk, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to warn consumers who are pregnant to avoid consuming these products.  In addition to the traditionally vulnerable groups, the young, immune-compromised, and elderly, pregnant women are in a especially precarious position given that Listeria is one of the few bacteria that can cross the fetal barrier and cause miscarriages and still births in women who are pregnant.  Other vulnerable populations include the elderly and the very young, as well as those who have a compromised immune system.  As a Listeria Lawyer, I have seen the damage that Listeria poisoning can cause, and the high cost of medical attention that infection can lead to given that nearly 85% of all Listeria victims are hospitalized.  Unlike salmonella or E. coli, in a Listeria outbreak the victims are often much more readily identified.  In a salmonella and E. coli out-break, according to CDC estimates, only one-in thirty are identified because the others do  not seek medical attention.  But in a Listeria outbreak, most victims are forced to seek medical attention.  Nonetheless, many of the victims are not reported because the proper stool or blood test is not performed, and in the absence of a culture, a positive diagnosis of Listeria may not be given.  As a listeria lawyer, fewer that one-in five of the victims who call me believing they have listeriosis have been positively diagnosed.

soft cheese

live cultures

by Texas Listeria Lawyer Tony Coveny

CDC:  Unpasteurized cheese and milk prodcucts are 150 times more likely than pasteurized products to cause illness and, in actual numbers between 1993 and 2006, led to 13 time as as many hospitalizations.

Many soft cheeses have live cultures, and in most cases this environment seems to provide a palatary delight for consumers.*  In some instances, however, this permissive environment can allow the wrong type of  bacteria, such as Listeria monocytogenes. Only pasteurization (heating) can kill this dangerous bacteria.  For this reason, the FDA states that only soft cheeses that state "made with pasteurized milk"  are safe, and Brie, Camembert, Queso Fresco, Panela, Asadero, and Queso Blanco (the later are known as "Mexican style cheeses"), which are made from unpasteurized milk, are dangerous.

Pregnant women need to be especially vigilant!  And while most soft cheese is now made with pasteurized milk, many do get onto shelves in stores or at farmer's markets.  pregnant women need to check labels!

Recent recalls have included Oasis Brand cheeses, Roos soft cheeses, and a number of Mexican Style cheess due to Listeria.

*There have been recalls of hard cheeses due to listeria, but they are rare.

raw milk


by Texas Listeria Lawyer Tony Coveny

FDA states: "Milk and milk products provide a wealth of nutrition benefits. But raw milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks to you and your family"

Unpasteurized milk is dangerous, as it can carry any number of pathogens, such as listeria, salmonella, e. coli, campylobacter, and other pathogens that can make humans ill.  pasteurization is the process of heating the product to a temperature that eradicates all live bacterium in the product, thus making it safe to consume. (This process was discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1864). In some meats, irradiation is employed,  and washing in special baths with antibacterial solutions is used for some produce. But milk is treated with heat.  Some opponents argue that the heat also affects the flavor and the nutritional value.  But the CDC and FDA have stated that any reduction in nutritional value is a myth, and more than offset by the risk of infection with such bacteria as listeria.  Listeria hospitalizes 85% of its victims and can be very costly in terms of health and medical treatment.  For this reason, raw milk is highly regulated, or banned, for sale in most states.

States:  17 states have illegalized raw milk sales; 9 allow herd-share or cow-share arrangements; 11 allow for on-farm sales by unlicensed vendors; and 11 states have some provision for the legal sale in retail establishment of raw milk from cows and goats.

Cold meats

listeria favorite

by Texas Listeria Lawyer Tony Coveny

One of the things about listeria bacterium is that it thrives in cold climates - unlike many bacterium, refrigeration is not an impediment to listeria - and in fact, listeria grows on cold meats even when stored appropriately, affecting about 3 percent of cold meats

Perhaps of highest danger on the cold stored meats are smoked meats, such as smoked fish. Smoking may prepare salmon and other meats for eating, but is does not kill the listeria bacteria if present.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent in (CDC) has often warned of the dangers of consuming smoked products for this reason, and told those women who are pregnant to avoid it during pregnancy.

But cold-suts, or deli meats, are also a source of listeria.  In fact, Reader's Digest lists Listeria as the a major danger of consuming Deli Meat. Researchers recommend washing meats thoroughly before eating them raw.

Delis pose a dangerous place for the spread of listeria because cutting boards and meat slicers can act as conduits to infect entire delis, which is why such careful attention should be paid to maintaining a clean and sanitary kitchen in  facilities that serve cold meats.

Listeria Lawsuits

Finding the source

By Texas Listeria Lawyer Tony Coveny

When I am called about a possible Listeria lawsuit, the primary concern is usually causation, or finding the source.  A person infected with Listeria is sick, and that is clear.  The damages, although there may be some debate over the value of the medical treatment, the level of pain and suffering, or other costs, are clear to most people.  What is not always clear is the origin of the Listeria - a trace-back investigation or an epidemiological investigation is often required.  In a trace-back investigation, the common source of two or more victims' food supply is evaluated through interviews or questionnaires.  In a reported outbreak, often the initial questionnaires will be replaced by more targeted questionnaires  that seek to identify the specific ingredient or specific supplier of a product, thereby further narrowing the origin in the hope of curtailing the outbreak's reach.  

Like cases of Campylobacter, Shigella, E. coli, and Salmonella, PFGE matching can be used to confirm a victim is a part of a particular outbreak even if the victims are spread across the nation.  PFGE matching is not available for viruses like Norovirus or hepatitis A.

NOTE: Raw Milk has always been a risk, and as a STEC Lawyer, or E. coli lawyer, I have seen the appearance of e. coli cases among those who drink this product nearly every year.  Many more cases are linked to Listeria Food Poisoning or to Salmonella Food Poisoning. This has led to many states banning or highly limiting the sale of raw milk.  But now, in Europe, where in some countries you can purchase raw milk in a vending machine, new evidence again supports the dissemination of E. coli, along with Campylobacter, salmonella and other pathogens such as Listeria, in unpasteurized milk.  And increasingly, signs that these are antibiotic resistant strains is becoming more and more common.

stec o157

the most common e. coli strain

By Texas STEC Lawyer Tony Coveny

Historically, most U.S. Outbreaks of food pathogens linked to STEC have been linked to STEC O157:H7, even though there are upwards of 100 other E. coli strains that are have been linked to outbreaks.  STEC O157 has been infamous since 1994, and is routinely screened for now in testing on meat and produce.  Other strains of STEC have ben linked to outbreaks, however, including :

  1. 10 outbreaks of STEC O111
  2. 6 outbreaks of STEC O26
  3. 3 outbreaks of STEC O45
  4. 2 outbreaks of STEC O145,
  5. 2 outbreaks of STEC O104
  6. 1 outbreak of STEC O51
  7. 1 outbreak of STEC O103
  8. 1 outbreak of STEC O27
  9. 1 outbreak of STEC O84.

This is a partial list taken from CDC archives, and perhaps underreports the presence of strains other than O157  because they are not recognized or identified in many cases.  Few county and state laboratories are looking to identify these other strains of STEC, and some even lack the means to do so.  STEC O157 is common and identification (or isolation) of the pathogen has become second nature for many in the public health world - in 2007, two-thirds of all clinical labs screened for STEC O157, but fewer than one-in-ten screened for other strains on-site (samples had to e sent to more advanced labs for further testing. 

NOTE: In a recent study, feces from 1% of the lambs in a domestic heard tested positive for STEC O157, whereas other strains of STEC were found in 35%. Of the identified STEC, 70% were serogroups O6, 0117, O91, 0146, O128, O166).

Now, and since 2000, strains other than O157 are reportable if identified.  The operative phrase here is "if identified."   Luckily, more and more labs are being improved to test for other strains, and state labs are doing so on samples sent to them from county and local labs.  This is enabling the CDC to accumulate a database of the presence of these other STEC stains as they relate to food borne illness.   

Stool Cultures:*

  1. Test for the presence of Shiga Toxin;
  2. Identify it as O157 or non-O157; and
  3. non-O157 submitted to more advanced analysis to identify strain

*Traditionally, many on-site  labs performed the first test, and if positive, they reported the presence of Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli to the physician and destroyed the sample.  Now, most labs are able to determine if the sample is STEC O157 themselves.  When it is not, increasingly the samples are sent to more sensitive state labs that have the equipment and facilities to determine the stain of STEC at play.

E. Coli

STEC - Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia coli bacteria: Filing an e. coli lawsuit

By Texas E. Coli lawyer Tony Coveny

I recently received a call from two very concerned individuals.  Their mother had passed and the death certificate indicated cause of death to be congestive heart failure brought on by an E,. coli urinary tract infection.  The family was concerned that their mother's life had ended prematurely due to ingestion of food tainted with E. coli bacteria or STEC.  I was required to do some explanation for the family, and then to conduct further research into the facts of her case to determine if the E. coli infection she had could have been caused by something she ate.  Generally, hers are some of the assumptions I was operating under:

  1. food borne E. coli is very different from the E. coli that causes a urinary tract infection . . . Not always so.
  2. E. coli urinary tract infections are not reportable diseases in most medical settings . . . This is often true.
  3. E. coli urinary tract infections are not investigated by local or state health agencies . . . This is often true.

The cause of their mother's E. coli infection in this case had, in fact been reported to the local health department.  As an E. coli lawyer, I have spoken to many E. coli victims and to many practitioners in the medical field who have told me that an E. coli urinary tract infection is not on the list of reportable diseases. in most instance.  My conversations with health officials at health agencies concurs, in most instances.  BUT, like in the case of the deceased mother, a history of symptoms consistent with food poisoning can lead to the injury being reported.  I have been informed that E. coli developed in the gastrointestinal tract can cross to the urinary tract - and though this may not traditionally be the norm, and it is not often investigated, in the right circumstances, this can be evidence of food poisoning.   The primary issue for an E. coli lawyer is that the fact that most E. coli urinary tract infections are not reported, cultures are often not passed to state and local health agencies for serotyping and further analysis.  If no further analysis is made, and the pathogen not uploaded into PulseNet (the repository of PFGE data), investigators may not be aware of the link between this victim's illness and the illness of others, be they geographically localized or diffuse as in a national outbreak linked to a particular product.

In all instances where an E. coli urinary tract infection is believed to be linked to a food borne pathogen, medical experts must be called upon to carefully critique the medical records of the victims to make a determination as to whether there is a causal link.

E. coli food poisoning

is dangerous and can be fatal

By Texas E. coli lawyer Tony Coveny

E. coli comes from feces, and hence should not be in our food. But as an E. coli lawyer I can attest that, in an E. coli outbreak, animal feces are often found to have been determined to have entered the food supply through negligent action. E. coli outbreak: In an E. coli outbreak, the bacteria has been introduced into the food sometime during manufacture, distribution and/or preparation and sale. The cause can be food worker error, an infected ingredient, or failure to properly clean or safeguard the production or preparation facilities and equipment. As an E. coli lawyer, i have seen all of these causes in action, and under certain circumstances, they give rise to the right to pursue an E. coli lawsuit. E. coli lawsuit: An E. coli lawsuit is possible following an E. coli outbreak if the defendant can be identified and has either the resources or an insurance policy to make the victims whole again. As an E. coli lawyer, it is my job to assist victims to determine id an E. coli lawsuit is in order. E. coli is commonly transmitted from feces to food. Without proper food handling procedures, cross-contamination can occur, and people can get infected. Hamburger and chicken that is not cooked to proper internal temperatures can cause E. coli food poisoning, as can vegetables and fruits that are not properly washed. I recommend contacting a competent E. coli lawyer to represent you if you believe you have become ill from eating food contaminated with E. coli.

Food Poisoning Lawyer E. Coli Lawsuit - STEc

E. coli 0157:H7 is the most common strain of E. coli spread by food, and is noted most conspicuously by bloody diarrhea, a result of Shiga Toxin it produces

By Texas E. coli lawyer Tony Coveny

E. coli is in the intestines of nearly all warm blooded animals, including humans. But it is harmless in most cases and even helpful in digestion. But there are particular strains of E. coli which are Shiga toxin producing, which means that they “shed” a toxin that is dangerous and can even be fatal (especially when older people or very your people become infected with it). Infection with E. coli bacteria, simply put, means (in most cases) that a victim ate food with feces on it! E. coli 0157 is one of the most common sorts of E. coli, or STEC, that sheds this Shiga toxin, and it has already been linked to a number of recent Food Poisoning outbreaks: •E. coli linked to series of Mexican Restaurants across America! •E. coli O157, Linked to Los Burritos Mexicanos Restaurant in Lombard, Illinois •E. coli O157, Linked to Raw Beef in Wisconsin •E. coli O157 Outbreak in Brazos County, Texas linked to Leafy Greens But other dangerous strains also exist, such as E. coli O121 which has causes serious outbreaks in both the U.S. and Europe in recent years.  For free legal advice online about Food Poisoning Lawyer E. coli Lawsuit - call 713-306-3880.

The Impact of E. coli Food Poisoning

By Texas E. coli lawyer Tony Coveny

~~The result of becoming infected with E. coli food poisoning is often serous, with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, bloody stool, fever, and dehydration. Hospitalization is often required to treat the dehydration and anti-nausea medication is often given. Antibiotics, however, are often withheld as they cause the E. coli to shed more Shiga toxin. The "bloody stool" is the most indicative of E. coli food poisoning, separating it from some other forms of food poisoning. "As an E. coli lawyer, I recommend those who believe they have been exposed to an E. coli outbreak seek medical attention." Anthony C. Coveny, Ph.D., J.D. In some cases, serious side-effects like kidney failure-can occur, and it is then that victims need an E. coli lawyer more than ever. In these cases, a victim may often need a kidney transplant one or more times in the course of their lives. This is a serious and potentially deadly side effect, and hence I encourage ALL victims to seek medical attention immediately to maintain proper medical oversight during recovery. As an E. coli lawyer, I have seen too many people who are exposed to an E. coli outbreak take a back seat and try and ride out the effects of their food poisoning. While this may suffice, if there is blood in your stool, my experience as an E. coli lawyer compels me to tell people to seek medical attention and get tested. E. coli outbreaks are often linked to long recoveries, kidney failure and even death. An E. coli outbreak is serous, and medical attention is a prudent response to suspected exposure toe an e. coli outbreak. Too often victims of an E. coli outbreak try to "ride it out" and do not seek medical attention. Given the serious health risks involved, as an E. coli lawyer I always encourage victims to seek medical attention. This is also necessary because testing (a stool test) is vital in establishing the proper foundation for an E. coli lawsuit.

listeria lawyer encourages medical care!

what are the symptoms of listeria?

By Texas Listeria Lawyer Tony Coveny

The symptoms of Listeria monocytogenes include gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and nausea, as well as other symptoms, such as fatigue and body aches.  Listeria often moves "beyond" the gastrointestinal.  It can cause blood infections which often result in a positive blood culture if one is performed.  Very often aggressive antibiotic regimens are prescribed to combat Listeria.  If you KNOW you have been exposed to Listeria, you may want to tell your physician so that the proper test can be performed.  Without doing so, the diagnosis may be missed, leading to improper or inadequate treatment and to the loss (or complication) of certain legal rights for a victims in a given outbreak.  To make sure you and your loved ones a re properly treated and cared for, and to preserve all of your legal rights and options, your will want to make sure you receive the proper testing.   This means, as in most suspected cases of food poisoning, to have a stool test and blood culture performed.  Proper testing also enables local and state health agencies to track cases, find sources of food borne illness, and prevent further harm to consumers.  A vital step in fighting food borne illness is the proper reporting of cases - only laboratory confirmed cases can alert health agencies of a particular outbreak and enable them to get ahead of it.

Why is getting the attention of a health agency important?  This is a vital step in preventing further injury, as it gives investigators the ability to locate and stop outbreaks before substantial damage to the public ensues.  As in the case of Oasis Brand cheeses and creams, the identification of a listeria contaminated product is vital to preventing human illness . . . the FDA also confirmed that presence of listeria in the Oasis cheeses and a recall was issued.  But when investigators are unable to identify the product prior to reports of human illness, quick reporting can also cause a recall and prevent the further spread of the deadly bacterium.  By being properly diagnosed, an individual victim can save others from illness and even death. 

Proper reporting can also establish the evidence you will need to pursue legal action and preserve your legal rights.  To file a listeria lawsuit, evidence of both exposure to the product and the development of illness related to listeria is vital.  While medical evidence of listeria does not require a positive listeria culture, proper diagnosis is extremely helpful in filing a listeria lawsuit.  A listeria lawyer can assist you in establishing your case and in providing you the guidance you need to bring a listeria lawsuit for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other possible compensable damages.  . 

Food Poisoning Lawyer

Lawyer/Attorney Tony Coveny PC © All Rights Reserved.  Food Poisoning Lawyer here to help you with filing your food poisoning lawsuit!

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call or text 281-851-9343

Food poisoning lawyer Tony Coveny, Ph.D., is licensed in the state of Texas, with his office in Katy, Texas.

27715 Guthrie Ridge Lane, Katy TX 77494.  phone 281-851-9343.  A Texas food poisoning lawyer who has worked with victims of Vibrio, Shigella,  salmonella, listeria, E. coli, Hepatitis, and other pathogens . If you need a Salmonella Lawyer, aListeria Lawyer, an E. coli Lawyer, a Hepatitis Lawyer, or any other food poisoning lawyer, give me a call!