Consumer Reports: Listeria outbreak

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A nationwide recall, including Chicago, is currently underway for all raw-milk cheeses, produced by Vulto Creamery due to possible contamination with listeria. (WLS)

A nationwide recall, including Chicago, is currently underway for all raw-milk cheeses produced by Vulto Creamery due to possible contamination with listeria.

Six people were hospitalized and two died - all sickened by the bacteria. Consumer Reports said there are several things you should know about the new listeria outbreak.

The FDA has issued a flurry of recalls over the last six months, over fears of listeria.

"Most recently, the concerns have been about certain cheeses. But actually, listeria has been found in ice cream, cookie dough, frozen vegetables and even frozen waffles," said Julia Calderone, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

Not everyone exposed to Listeria gets sick from it. But when you do, it can be serious. Most people with invasive listeriosis require hospitalization and one in five who become infected, die.

The CDC said four groups are most at risk: The elderly, people with compromised immune systems, newborns and pregnant women. In fact, pregnant women are roughly 10 times more likely than the general population to be infected.

"There's really no way to detect listeria ahead of time, but the best way to steer clear of it is to avoid certain types of foods, like soft cheeses and unpasteurized dairy products, especially if you're in a high risk group," Calderone said.

If you are concerned about anything you ate, be on the lookout for symptoms such as diarrhea, muscle aches and fever.

"The symptoms can be really tricky, because they can either come on right way or they can take up to a month to develop. So sometimes it's really hard to pinpoint the source of the infection," Calderone said.

Web sites like foodsafety.gov can help you keep an eye on food recalls.

https://www.foodsafety.gov

If you discover you've bought food affected by a listeria recall, seal it in a plastic bag and toss it. The CDC also suggests taking things a step further by wiping down the spot in the refrigerator where it was stored with soap and hot water.

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