Beware Those Cravings
Rare, but Dangerous
Just Avoid It
Cold, even near freezing, temperatures do not easily subdue
Listeria. So while the average refrigerator, maintaining the otherwise safe
35-40 degrees Fahrenheit, can stop most other food-borne pathogens -- including
the notorious E. coli -- from proliferating, time in the cold box doesn't halt
"If you put a package of [tainted] hot dogs in the
refrigerator for several weeks, a very small level of Listeria can grow into a
serious contamination," says Catherine Donnelly, PhD, a food microbiologist
at the University of Vermont.
DeWaal offers the following tips:
- Consume only milk products made from pasteurized milk.
- Avoid pâtés; soft cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, and feta; and
blue-veined cheeses such as Roquefort.
- Cook all raw meat thoroughly. Do not sample meat while cooking.
- Keep raw meats separate from vegetables, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat
- Reheat leftovers and ready-to-eat foods such as cold cuts until they are
- Wash fruits and vegetables vigorously under running water.
Rochelle Jones is a writer based in Bethesda, Md. She has
covered health and medicine for The New York Daily News and The St.