Homepage > What You Need to Know About Listeria and Pregnancy
April 12, 2021
Posted by: OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers
Foodborne Listeria infections (Listeria monocytogenes or L. mono) are both more common and more deadly during pregnancy. If you and your baby have been infected, contact OFT Food Safety & Injury Lawyers right away. We will help you get the relief you need. Call us at (888) 828-0787.
Doctors and scientists have long known that Listeria infections can lead to preterm labor. But Listeria can also cause miscarriage or early pregnancy loss. In fact, listeriosis is far more common in pregnancy: “12 per 100,000, compared with a rate of 0.7 per 100,000 in the general population.”
“During the first trimester of pregnancy, listeriosis may cause miscarriage. As the pregnancy progresses to third trimester, the mother is more at risk. Listeriosis can also lead to premature labor, the delivery of a low-birth-weight infant, or infant death. Fetuses who have a late infection may develop a wide range of health problems, including intellectual disability, paralysis, seizures, blindness, or impairments of the brain, heart, or kidney. In newborns, L. monocytogenes can cause blood infections and meningitis.”
Listeria infections are particularly dangerous because not only can they cross the placental barrier, Listeria can cross the blood-brain barrier, causing the neurological damage described above.
Listeria is a serious food contaminant that companies must actively prevent. In January 2017, the Food and Drug Administration finalized guidance to the food industry to prevent Listeria contamination of ready-to-eat foods (which is a huge part of most Americans’ diet).
Since Listeria is known to harbor in damp, cool food processing environments, responsible food companies “seek and destroy” the bacteria through vigorous environmental sampling and cleaning. When food companies do not adequately protect consumers against Listeria infections, they can be held liable for the consequences.
If your pregnancy or birth has been affected by a Listeria infection, it is important to have experienced legal representation for you and/or your child. Brendan Flaherty of OFT Food Safety Lawyers has handled several tragic Listeria cases. In one case, a young mother delivered a preterm infant who was born blind and disabled as a result of the Listeria infection.
Call us at (888) 828-0787. We offer free consultations and can help you decide about the next best steps.