Profiling Yersinia enterocolitica « eFoodAlert

What is yersiniosis? How long does it take to develop?

Yersinia enterocolitica infections in younger children usually result in enterocolitis – diarrhea, low-grade fever and abdominal pain. In older children and young adults, the infection may produce symptoms that resemble appendicitis. Symptoms typically require from one to 11 days to develop.

What are the symptoms of Yersinia enterocolitica infections?

Symptoms may include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and vomiting. The severity of the symptoms depends upon the age of the victim and the size of the dose. The disease symptoms last from one to three weeks in most cases.

What is the prognosis of a Yersinia enterocolitica infection?

Most infections are self-limiting; however, complications and secondary illnesses can include appendicitis, arthritis, erythema nodosum, bacteremia, or extraintestinal infections. Among individuals who develop bacteremia (infection of the bloodstream), the fatality rate is 34-50%.

What foods carry Yersinia enterocolitica?

Yersinia enterocolitica has been found in meats (beef, poultry, lamb and, especially pork), milk and other dairy products, and seafood. Many – but not all – of the strains found in food are not pathogenic to humans.

How can people protect themselves from Yersinia enterocolitica infections?

Yersinia enterocolitica is killed during pasteurization of milk and by normal cooking procedures. Ways to minimize the risk of contracting an infection include:

Always cook pork, beef, lamb and poultry thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC)

Take care to avoid contact between raw meat juices and foods that are ready-to-eat, including cooked meats, side dishes, salads and desserts

Wash and sanitize hands, utensils and work surfaces after working with any raw meat

Avoid consuming raw milk and dairy products made using unpasteurized milk

Avoid drinking untreated water

Always wash hands after touching a pet or barnyard animal

Do not allow toddlers and young children to play with pets or barnyard animals unsupervised.

via Profiling Yersinia enterocolitica « eFoodAlert.