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Lunch Meat Could Be Risky For Some Age Groups

Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems should heat cold cuts until they are steaming hot to avoid risk of consuming listeria bacteria.

Mark Bennett

Photo: Mark Bennett (Flickr)

Cold cut meats are more likely to contain the listeria bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control has recommendations for some people who consume cold cut meats. Pam Pontones, state epidemiologist with the Indiana Department of Health, says the CDC recommends people over 50, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems heat cold cuts until they are steaming hot.

She said cold cut meats are more likely to contain the listeria bacteria.

“Listeriosis can be quite severe, even fatal. It’s especially a problem in unborn children, pregnant women with unborn children, listeria can be very severe,” Pontones said.

She said the listeria bacteria can grow easily in refrigerated temperatures. While some preservatives in the meats can keep levels down, Pontones said it‘s not failsafe.

Symptoms of listeriosis can include muscle aches, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.

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