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Preventing Food Poisoning in High-Risk Persons

Some people are more likely to develop food poisoning (or "foodborne illness"), so those who are at a particularlyhigh risk should take more precautions.

Pregnant women, the elderly, and those with weakened immunesystems are at higher risk for severe infections such as Listeria,and should be particularly careful not to consume undercooked animalproducts. They should avoid soft French style cheeses, pates, uncooked hot dogs, and sliced deli meats (all of which have been documented sourcesof Listeria infection). Persons at high riskshould also avoid alfalfa sprouts and unpasteurizedjuices.

A bottle-fed infant is at higher risk for severe infectionswith Salmonella or other bacteria that can grow in a bottle of warm formula, ifit is left at room temperature for many hours. Particular care is neededto be sure the baby's bottle is cleaned and disinfected, and that leftover milkformula or juice is not held in the bottle for many hours.

Persons with liver disease are susceptible to infectionswith a rare but dangerous microbe called Vibriovulnificus, found in oysters. Therefore, persons with liver disease shouldavoid eating raw oysters.

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