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Originally Published by News12 New Jersey

If you eat food contaminated with listeria, you could get so sick that you have to be hospitalized, the Food and Drug Administration says. And for certain vulnerable people, the illness could be fatal.

Unlike most bacteria, listeria germs can grow and spread in the refrigerator. So if you unknowingly refrigerate listeria-contaminated food, the germs not only multiply at the cool temperature, they could contaminate your refrigerator and spread to other foods.

Those most at risk for illness include pregnant women, older adults and people with compromised immune systems and certain chronic medical conditions. In pregnant women, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and serious illness or death in newborn babies.

Below are some tips from the FDA to protect yourself and your family:

Consumers are advised to wash all fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking, even if you plan to peel the produce first.

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