Listeriosis is an infectious but not contagious disease caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Both you and your pets are at risk of falling ill.
Back in 2018 when there was a Listeriosis outbreak, many questioned if sick animals were used in the food production process. The cause was never revealed, but we would like to focus on explaining the virus, and what to do, to prevent getting Listeria.
How can one get Listeriosis?
The disease is spread via the consumption of an infected product, such as raw meat, raw vegetables, and processed foods.
Does eating a Raw Food Diet cause Listeriosis?
No, but pets who are fed raw food diets are the most likely ones to get infected should a listeriosis outbreak occur. The best thing to do is to always maintain a healthy and clean environment during handling raw food.
Is a Raw Food Diet bad for our pets?
Feeding your pets raw food is one of the best options on the market today. Kibble is known to be the main cause of skin allergies, diabetes and cancer, for this reason raw food is by far your best option. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to have access to raw food or the storage of large quantities. Kibble has a very important place in the pet food market, and for this they will always be producing feed for our animals. The important factor to keep in mind when feeding your animals' kibble, is to do your research and keep pushing the brands to produce the healthiest alternative to raw food that your money can buy.
What are the symptoms for a human or animal that has listeriosis?
- The biggest concern is the neurological infection (encephalitis) that can occur affecting the brain and spinal cord, disorientated or nudging / tilting the head start.
- Vomiting, diarrhoea, and fever can also be a sign of listeria infection.
The cycle of LISTERIOSES looks something like this:
The bacterium lives in the soil and poorly made animal feed. This is not contagious but if the animal has a weak immune system and is not treated with antibiotics, the animal will get sick and this can become fatal. Not all sick animals are discovered in time and this is how the spread of the virus will start.
- Infected animal manure is used as fertiliser to feed the plants. This is then carried over into vegetables and fruit grown with manure fertilisers.
- Infected plants are fed to both humans and animals and they get infected.
- Infected animals could then be used for making processed meat, ready to consume dairy and poultry products.
- Humans and animals eat processed food and the infection continues.
What should I do in the event of an outbreak of Listeria?
The following products must be avoided for both our animals and human consumption:
- Hot dogs, cold meats, deli meats, all soft cheeses (this includes feta, brie, camembert, blue cheese).
- You can eat hard cheeses like mozzarella and cream cheese.
- Avoid meat pate, smoked meat, and seafood, raw milk, salads that contain the above.
Practice safe hygiene:
- Practice safe food handling. When shopping, place all your raw animal products in separate food bags and store properly.
- Disinfect everything before and after: your hands, your cutlery, your cutting boards with boiling water, rinse fruit and vegetables in water.
- Listeria can grow in cold conditions, so always clean or disinfect your refrigerator from any food spills.
- Cook food properly, do not eat undercooked meat or fish.
According to the Minister of Health the source of the Listeriosis Outbreak which was announced by him on 4 March 2018 in South Africa, was from The Enterprise Food Production facility in Polokwane.