The listeria death toll has gone up to 23 people, an alarming fact that brings the topic of prevention to mind.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the number of deaths on Wednesday.
An outbreak of listeria infections has been linked to Rocky Ford-brand cantaloupes in Jensen Farms in Colorado.
The cantaloupes have been recalled, but listeria symptoms can take as long as two months to appear, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Several organizations, including the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have tips on their Web sites for listeria infection prevention.
The FDA advises consumers to keep their refrigerators spic and span by sopping up any spills and cleaning the walls and shelves. As far as temperature goes, the FDA advises that refrigerators remain at 40 degrees Farenheit or lower and that freezers stay at zero degrees Farenheit or lower.
If you have leftovers in your refrigerator, it's best to throw them out after three days, just to be sure, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition senior science advisor Donald Zink said in a statement. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Consumers should also clean food preparation surfaces and wash all kitchen cloths on a regular basis, including cloth grocery bags, according to the FDA.
The American Pregnancy Association notes that pregnant women are more susceptible to infection. Their advice includes eating hard cheeses instead of soft cheeses and avoiding meat spreads and refrigerated pâtés.
Eating out at certain restaurants that provide deli meat sandwiches is not recommended for pregnant women since they do not reheat their deli meats, the APA says on their Web site.