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Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes)

Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes) under a microscope!

Mouthwash maven Dr. Joseph Lister lent his name to this food-borne bacterium that pregnant women in particular should avoid.
  • Good reminder for pregnant women to practice safe food handling
  • Great food safety training tool

FACTS: In 1867, English surgeon Joseph Lister published a scientific paper proposing that his fellow surgeons clean their hands and instruments before operating on patients. While overcoming scientific skepticism regarding novel ideas can sometimes be challenging, when post-surgical infection rates took a nosedive, Lister was vindicated.

In 1927, on the 100th anniversary of Lister’s birth, scientist Harvey Pirie was looking for a name for a food-borne bacterium he had isolated from a dead gerbil found in South Africa. As Lister had also had an interest in the isolation and growing of microorganisms, Pirie chose to honor the bacteria, and Lister, with the name Listeria monocytogenes.

In addition to dead gerbils, Listeria can be found in raw meats and vegetables, unpasteurized dairy products, and processed meats like hot dogs and cold cuts.

While everyone is vulnerable to Listeria, the consequences are particularly dire for pregnant women and their unborn children: if Listeria spreads from mother to fetus, it’s fatal to the baby 20 percent of the time. (For others with weakened immune systems, Listeria is fatal in one of every four cases.)

The best way to avoid the bacterium is to make like Lister and keep things clean. Cooks should wash their hands and cooking instruments carefully before operating. And at-risk individuals should monitor their diets for at-risk foods.

And after the meal, you might try a little oral hygiene: the mouthwash Listerine was named for Dr. Lister in 1879.

Copyright © 2014 Giantmicrobes, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Size Specs
Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes) Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes) GMUS-PD-0455
CA$11.95
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Product Details

Additional Information

Sizes Giantmicrobes are based on actual microbes, cells, organisms and other critters, only 1,000,000 X actual size!
Gigantic 16-24”
XL 15-20”
Original 5-8”
Minis 2” each
Keychain 2 - 3” with clip
Materials Plush from all new materials. Stuffed with polyester fiber fill. Surface washable: sponge with water & soap, air dry.
Packaging Each plush microbe includes a printed card with fun, educational and fascinating facts about the actual microbe or cell.
Safety Every product meets or exceeds U.S. and European standards for safety. For ages 3 and up.

All about Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes)

FACTS: In 1867, English surgeon Joseph Lister published a scientific paper proposing that his fellow surgeons clean their hands and instruments before operating on patients. While overcoming scientific skepticism regarding novel ideas can sometimes be challenging, when post-surgical infection rates took a nosedive, Lister was vindicated.

In 1927, on the 100th anniversary of Lister’s birth, scientist Harvey Pirie was looking for a name for a food-borne bacterium he had isolated from a dead gerbil found in South Africa. As Lister had also had an interest in the isolation and growing of microorganisms, Pirie chose to honor the bacteria, and Lister, with the name Listeria monocytogenes.

In addition to dead gerbils, Listeria can be found in raw meats and vegetables, unpasteurized dairy products, and processed meats like hot dogs and cold cuts.

While everyone is vulnerable to Listeria, the consequences are particularly dire for pregnant women and their unborn children: if Listeria spreads from mother to fetus, it’s fatal to the baby 20 percent of the time. (For others with weakened immune systems, Listeria is fatal in one of every four cases.)

The best way to avoid the bacterium is to make like Lister and keep things clean. Cooks should wash their hands and cooking instruments carefully before operating. And at-risk individuals should monitor their diets for at-risk foods.

And after the meal, you might try a little oral hygiene: the mouthwash Listerine was named for Dr. Lister in 1879.

Copyright © 2014 Giantmicrobes, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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