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Hefei CDC Warns of “Refrigerator Killer” Disease

As temperatures rise, cold drinks, food, and dishes become more popular, and the frequency of using refrigerators also increases. It is learned from the Hefei Center for Disease Control and Prevention that a single case of Listeria monocytogenes infection was found in a recent surveillance of Foodborne illness in Hefei .

Listeria monocytogenes can cause Listeria disease, which often referred to as “refrigerator killer”. Experts remind people to develop good hygiene habits, avoid eating raw and cold food, and thoroughly clean the refrigerator at least once a month.


“Listeria monocytogenes prefers to live and multiply in large quantities at cold storage temperature.” According to experts from Hefei CDC, meat, eggs, poultry, seafood, dairy products, vegetables, etc. have been confirmed as the source of Listeria monocytogenes infection, such as frozen drinks, raw fruits and vegetables, cooked meat products, raw aquatic products, barbecue food, sushi, sashimi, ice cream, and frozen food in the refrigerator.

Human infections are often transmitted through direct contact with infected animals, and direct contact between human eyes or skin and diseased animals can also cause local lesions. Infection can also be transmitted through indirect contact with contaminated food.


“In fact, it is not difficult to deal with Listeria monocytogenes, because it is afraid of heat. It can be easily eliminated by pasteurization, cooking and boiling.” Disease control experts remind us to develop good hygiene habits, and distinguish the cutting board and knife used for raw food and cooked food; Avoid eating raw and cold food; When cooking meat, eggs, and seafood, ensure that they are thoroughly cooked; Avoid consuming unpasteurized milk, cheese, and dairy products.


When purchasing frozen and ready to eat food with a longer shelf life, check the date and packaging for completeness. It is best to finish the food on the same day, and the cooked meat in Kaifeng should not be stored in the refrigerator for more than 3-5 days.
It is important to regularly organize and clean the refrigerator. Listeria monocytogenes prefers to “take root” in refrigerators. It is necessary to separate raw and cooked foods, keep refrigerators clean, and use safe temperatures (the refrigerator is set below 4 ℃, and the freezer is set below -18 ℃). And the refrigerator should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a month.

At present, there are three medical institutions in Hefei that are special surveillance hospitals for Listeria monocytogenes monocytogenes, namely, Anhui Children’s Hospital, Anhui Maternal and Child Health Hospital, and the First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China (Anhui Provincial Hospital). (Anhui Business Daily Rong Media Reporter Wang Yi)

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