Listts are rod-shaped bacteria that can move independently with their flagella. They are extremely resistant and survive both freezing and drying without damage.
They can be killed by heating. They do not develop further in particularly salty or acidic environments.
Listeria can also develop further in refrigeration and in the absence of oxygen, e.g. in packaging, and are therefore a particular problem for the food industry.
Listeria reside in human and animal organisms. Foods of animal origin, such as raw meat and raw milk, are therefore particularly at risk. These products can become contaminated during slaughter, cutting or milking. Raw products in particular are therefore easily affected.
Healthy adults usually cope well with a Listeten infection. They usually have flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea.
Risk groups, such as older or immunocompromised persons or infants, on the other hand, are at greater risk.
For pregnant women, listeria is particularly dangerous because infection can cause stillbirth or premature birth in the unborn child. Neonatal listeriosis, meningitis and sepsis (blood poisoning) also occur. These forms of the disease are fatal in about 30% of cases.
The minimum infectious dose that can lead to disease appears to depend on the bacterial strain and the susceptibility of the infected person. The incubation period for transmission through contaminated food ranges from eight days to eight weeks.
As always, great hygiene and an effective disinfection process help against listeria. oxytec relies on UV-C disinfection of air and water and on disinfection of rooms and equipment with UV ozone.
These technologies have the advantage of leaving no residues on food. Products do not have to be heated. This consumes more energy and for some products is not even possible. The risk of contamination during storage is massively reduced. In some cases, preservatives can be dispensed with completely for raw products.