Listeria is a genus of bacteria with about ten species. It is named after Joseph Lister. Listeria are very common, they occur almost everywhere. Two of the ten species are pathogens: they can cause a disease called listeriosis in decaying food.
|Scanning electron micrograph of Listeria monocytogenes.|
In 2011, 21 people died from listeriosis by eating cantaloupes from a Colorado farm. In 1998, hot dogs and possibly deli meats made by Bil Mar Foods, a subsidiary of Sara Lee Corp., also had listeria and killed 21 people. In 1985, listeria in Mexican-style soft cheese was linked to 52 deaths.
- Associated Press (October 7, 2011). "21 deaths now linked to listeria in cantaloupe, new deaths reported in Indiana, New York". Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2011.