What’s Listeria?

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You may have heard the word listeria, but how much do you really know about it?

Listeria is a kind of bacteria that gets in food and can make some people sick. It won't affect most of us. But babies, seniors, pregnant women, and people whose immune systems are weak can have serious problems.

Listeria is different from most other bacteria, because it can grow in the refrigerator and spread to other food. The good news? Cooking kills it.

Here's how you can stay safe. Thoroughly cook all meats, seafood, and eggs. Set your refrigerator to 40 degrees or colder. Keep foods covered. Clean your refrigerator and the rest of your kitchen. Wash your fruits and veggies.

Stay away from unpasteurized milk and cheese. And listen for news about outbreaks. For WebMD, I'm Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy.