McDonald's: Listeria Found in Salads

We have probably all heard of the listeria bacteria that promotes the development of listeriosis. The latest news reports a number of recalls of foods or food products for consumption and potentially contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. Among these products is the "Chicken Caesar" salad served in the restaurants of the world's fast-food giant Mac Donald.

Since a few weeks in Europe, recalls of products and foodstuff followed one after a proven suspicion of the presence of the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Among these product recalls, there is a batch of salads "Chicken Caesar", sold from July 9 to 14, 2018 throughout France and where the bacteria was detected. The fast food chain has also invited its customers who consumed the salad incriminated dates indicated, to contact as soon as possible with its consumer service and to quickly consult a doctor in case of appearance symptoms related to this bacterium.

Mac Donald salads incriminated

Following a recent food safety check, a batch of Chicken Caesar salad served in McDonald's restaurants and sold all over France has alerted the competent authorities such as the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Trade. Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), already on alert for a few weeks about the presence of Listeria bacteria in many food products including frozen products marketed in supermarkets.

Moreover, the Department of Veterinary Sciences of the University of Turin has published a study demonstrating the severity of this bacterium and its devastating effects on the body.

Many reminders of food products

In addition to Mac Donald's "Chicken Caesar" salads, there is also the ban and withdrawal of the marketing of a whole range of food products sold in supermarkets such as refrigerated foods or frozen products. Their list is also available on the website of the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) which has since conducted more than 800 checks in various establishments or distributors of foodstuffs.

Added to this, if we take into account recent warnings about salmonella contamination of chilled foods in supermarkets, there is therefore a possible failure in the concept of responsibility for food safety. The latter is attributable to any actor involved in the process of production, manufacture, processing or distribution of food products for consumption.

Contamination center in Hungary
The outbreak of listeria contamination would come from Hungary in the plant of one of the world's leading suppliers of fruit and vegetables, the Belgian Greenyard group, where it was found a strain of listeria that killed nine people in Europe since 2015. The plant has been closed and all food products likely to be contaminated by the bacteria have been recalled. Traceability surveys are still in progress to prevent contamination on a larger scale.

What is listeriosis?

Listeriosis is a rare food-borne infectious disease caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which can manifest as either central nervous system damage leading to meningitis or meningoencephalitis, or sepsis.

The prevalence in France is quite low: 5 / 1,000,000; however, there is a 20 to 30% risk of death for the infected person, and cases may be even more serious when they involve a pregnant woman who may be at risk of neonatal infection or even premature labor.

Raw foods are most commonly contaminated with bacteria. It is generally derived from nature and widespread in plants, wastewater, soils, etc., and in the digestive tract of some animals.

In rare cases when it contracts, listeriosis can be treated with antibiotic therapy. However, the Listeria bacterium does not necessarily cause listeriosis monocytogenes, because it must be ingested a dose high enough to develop listeriosis. Moreover, the symptoms of contamination with the bacteria Listeria begin with the appearance of fever, headache, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting but there is a risk that
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