The notorious member of the Masters of Grime Les Teria (aka Listeria Monocytogenes) is at large and the public are warned that he should be considered highly dangerous!
The microscopic menace is most often seen lurking around soft cheeses, hot dogs, pre-packaged salads, unpasteurised milk, fish, ice cream and deli meats, plotting to unleash sinister outbreaks of foodborne illness upon the public.
Be on the lookout for the calling cards that indicate Les Teria has been in the area, such as fever, headaches, aches and pains, vomiting, meningitis and septicaemia.
The Master Plan!
His evil scheme is to spread these symptoms amongst the general populace by hiding in the cracks and crevices of a food producer’s floor, waiting for the opportune moment to infiltrate the products and production processes with his potentially fatal Listeriosis microbes.
Les Teria is able to affect humans in two ways – either as Non-invasive Listeriosis or the more serious Invasive Listeriosis, which is when his malicious microbes find their way into the blood stream.
Ingestion holds no fear for Les Teria, as he can survive in the stomach and once there he works his way to the intestine and sneaks into intestinal epithelial cells where he makes a break for the cell cytoplasm. At this point he replicates, moves around the body and infects neighbouring host cells with bacteria. This ability to spread between host cells is particularly dangerous, as it allows him to cross blood-brain and placental barriers.
Les Teria is active in all Australian states and territories, and whilst not as prevalent as some of his bacterial brethren (only victimising 0.4 people per 100,000 of the population) he should never be underestimated, as in 2012 the fatality rate of Listeriosis in Australia was as high as 21%.
The perfidious pathogen is a tough character, able to thrive in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. He is also adept at enduring cold environments that would spell the end for other germs and can carry out his nefarious activities at temperatures as low as 0°C, meaning that refrigeration might not stop him.
How Can He Be Stopped?
However help is at hand, as information in his case files shows that Les Teria is known to be a gram-positive bacteria, which makes him vulnerable to the silver ion based power of Hygiene Boy’s Polygiene® shield!
To find out more about the sanitary superman Hygiene Boy, as well as Les Teria’s sickening sidekicks Eric Coli and Sal Monella, check back on the blog every Tuesday for the next four weeks, as we’ll be uploading new posts that details each of these characters.
Visitors to Flowcrete Australia’s stand (F14) at foodpro 2014 can talk to our team about the Masters of Grime and how Hygiene Boy can help food and beverage producers safeguard their facilities with floors that actively fight bacterial contamination.