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Listeria found in lettuce at Orlando, Florida market

By Karyn Chenoweth Oct 1, 2007, 14:58 GMT

Listeria found in lettuce at Orlando, Florida market

lettuce field near Salinas, California, REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Listeria bacteria, responsible for many cases of food poisoning, was found in lettuce being sold at an Orlando grocery store, Florida agriculture officials announced.

WKMG-TV in Orlando reported Saturday that Listeria bacteria has been linked to lettuce imported from California and sold at a Fresh Market store.   Store officials said late Friday the lettuce has been pulled and no reports of illness had been made.

"We will continue to monitor the situation to ensure our stores are taking all necessary precautions," Fresh Market said in a press statement.

Listeria is naturally found in soil and water, so vegetables are easily contaminated. It can cause infection and can be deadly if unchecked, and it spreads to the nervous system. 

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has published a list of foods that have sometimes caused outbreaks of Listeria: hot dogs, deli meats, raw milk, cheeses (particularly soft-ripened cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, or Mexican-style “queso blanco”), raw and cooked poultry, raw meats, ice cream, raw vegetables, raw and smoked fish.

Symptoms range from those like a mild flu to severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.

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