The short answer ... it's bad news.
In more detail ...
Listeria is a bacterial genus that contains seven species. Named after the English pioneer of sterile surgery Joseph Lister, the genus received its current name in 1940. Listeria species are gram-positive bacilli. The major human pathogen in the Listeria genus is L. monocytogenes.
It is usually the causative agent of the relatively rare bacterial disease, listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria.
Like many afflictions, the disease goes for the most vulnerable, primarily: pregnant women, newborns, adults with weakened immune systems, and the elderly.
It is important that these individuals, and those who care for them, follow proper food handling and food safety techniques for all foods, especially those with a greater potential risk of being contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
But that goes for the less vulnerable, too.
At Applegate, we believe that the best tasting meats are prepared in harmony with nature and without the use of harmful chemical additives or preservatives like nitrites, synthetic growth hormones and antibiotics.
We are committed to producing the best tasting all natural and organic meat products available anywhere.
Basically ... that is our thing.
As part of this commitment, our facilities have strict controls in place to ensure that listeria does not contaminate our products. We follow Good Manufacturing Practices, meticulous sanitation procedures, and the principles of HACCP. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a zero tolerance for listeria at all plants producing fully cooked products.
However, despite all of these controls, the following information is very relevant for woman who are pregnant, and we suggest that the information be taken into consideration:
Please seek advice with your medical advisor before consuming a product that might be in question while you are pregnant.