Listeria monocytogenes is responsible for causing more than 1,600 foodborne illnesses in the United States each year. Getting a Listeriosis infection from this bacterium will result in death almost 30% of the time, making it one of the most deadly forms of food poisoning. Pregnant women are at an unusually high risk for Listeriosis, as are the immunocompromised and those over 65 years of age.

Because Listeria is so dangerous, it’s imperative that food manufacturers and handlers exercise caution at all times throughout the food preparation process. At Wagner Reese, our compassionate food safety attorneys understand how serious the long-term consequences of Listeriosis can be. If infected, you deserve to seek full compensation from the negligent party, and our Indianapolis-based team will strive to help you accomplish that.

Ready to speak with our experienced lawyers about your Listeriosis diagnosis? Call for a free case evaluation.

Preventing Listeria Monocytogenes Infections

There aren’t that many widespread outbreaks of Listeria bacteria today, thanks to the process called pasteurization – a food safety technique developed by 19th century French scientist Louis Pasteur that transformed the food industry forever. By exposing food to moderate levels of heat, Pasteur discovered that dangerous bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria could be removed altogether from milk, wine, and other unstable foods.

In spite of this incredible discovery, many food producers are still careless, and some are even intentionally choosing not to pasteurize their products in order to capitalize on the “raw food” movement. Listeria monocytogenes is an extremely resilient and hardy bacterium, which can continue to proliferate even when food is refrigerated properly. The only way to kill this bacteria is through cooking food through completely, or by using pasteurization to sterilize it.

Some of the most common foods containing Listeria monocytogenes today include:

  • Deli meat
  • Raw or improperly pasteurized milk
  • Pre-cut melons
  • Ice cream
  • Soft cheeses
  • Smoked seafood
  • Hot dogs

Complications from Listeriosis

Once infected by Listeria monocytogenes, you may begin to feel flu-like symptoms such as diarrhea, body aches, fever, and a loss of balance. However, as the infection advances into full-fledged Listeriosis, it’s possible to experience even more serious complications, many of which can be fatal. In order to diagnose the condition early on, a doctor will need to test your blood or spinal fluid, and prescribe heavy doses of antibiotics.

The most serious complications from Listeriosis may include the following:

  • Sepsis and septicemia
  • Intra-abdominal infection
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Skin infections
  • Stillbirth and miscarriage (during pregnancy)

Holding Food Preparers Responsible for Listeriosis

Whether you were affected by a Listeria infection or watched a loved one suffer from this terrible illness, our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys are committed to helping you find some measure of justice. Listeria monocytogenes is relatively easy to eradicate by observing proper food safety guidelines, so it’s important to hold the food industry accountable for allowing this dangerous bacterium to spread again. Food safety claims can be complicated, but our team has over 123 years of experience creating strong case strategies that are based on the scientific evidence.

Give us a call at if you believe your Listeriosis infection could have been prevented. We offer free consultations.


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