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Thread: Listeria from gardening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    224

    Listeria from gardening

    Hi all
    Recently I've got really into gardening which seems to help me chill out and help s my health anxiety. The trouble is I heard about someone dying from listeria when Inwas listened nh to a gardening programme and now I'm worried.
    A couple of weeks ago I was doing some weeding and always wear gloves but felt a prick above my glove and a thorn from a rose bush had just grazed my skin. I didn't realise what had happened for 5 mins but then went inside and washed the wound with an antibacterial soap and squeezed it to try and get it to bleed out. I then put some savlon on it and a plaster. It's healed fine as it was so minor but now I'm worried I could get listeria as you can sometimes go 2 months before getting symptoms.
    I really thought my HA was getting better too.
    Thanks all,
    Nighttime Pacer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    354

    Re: Listeria from gardening

    I thought Listeria was a foodborne illness? I googled this (in a reasonable way) and found these two reassuring items from a case report:

    "Cutaneous listeriosis is rare, and its frequency is hard to determine."

    "The papulopustular or papulovesicular rash that occurs is most often self-limited, and full recovery without antibiotic treatment is usual."

    So we're talking about something that is rare and usually doesn't even have to be treated with antibiotics. This case on the gardening program has to be some kind of worst case scenario.

    I get stabbed all the time by the roses in my garden. When you look in at my arms in florescent light, the scars look like tic-tac-toe grids. Last summer I had a thorn in my finger that was so deep, I had to go to the walk-in clinic to have it removed. It's noteworthy that even after digging this thorn out of my finger, the doctor didn't feel a need to prescribe antibiotics.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    224

    Re: Listeria from gardening

    Hey Sparky
    Thanks for that I feel reassured.
    I think the trouble is there's always a worst case scenario if you search hard enough!
    More gardening less searching in future I think.
    Cheers
    Nighttime pacer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    26,259

    Re: Listeria from gardening

    My dad was a landscape gardener for over 40 years and still does some part time work now. He used to frequently have scratches & cuts all up his arms from working in bushes/fields, as did everyone who worked with him, and they were all fine.

    Given how common it is to get a cut or scratch from gardening if this was an issue it would be a safety advice thing to minimise cuts & scratches yet you will rarely hear of it outside of something isolated, like your programme, or if you go trawling for the rare.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    354

    Re: Listeria from gardening

    I was going to add that the patient in the case report I was looking at recovered just fine, without antibiotic treatment. The reason the doctor was writing a case report was because Listeria from gardening is so rare, just seeing a case is noteworthy. The case report was basically the doctor saying "I actually saw a case of Listeria from gardening in my practice, can you believe it? Here's some background for you docs who have never seen this at all."

  6. #6

    Re: Listeria from gardening

    I find it strange because I looked for some fertilizer for the flowers in the garden, and when I bought the best fertilizer for knockout roses, it said that it might have some bacteria that are not very good for human organisms. And after I read this a little bit, I'm afraid to go to the back garden and not have this bacteria and get sick. I read it on the internet, and many people said it was dangerous and we need to be careful about it. Did you guys have this bacteria?
    Last edited by millifelk; 27-10-21 at 10:43.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Posts
    54

    Re: Listeria from gardening

    Un-fun fact: We think of listeria as foodborne, but it's really dirt-borne; it's readily found in soil and dirty water in particular. Nowadays, when it gets into the food chain, it's usually via contaminated water. Sometimes still actual dirt.

    Yet despite the commonness of both dirt and water out there in the world, fatal listeria -- or even listeria that gets to the point where it needs treatment -- is pretty darn rare.

    More important question for gardening: Are you up to date on your tetanus vaccinations? I believe you need a booster every 10 years!

    (as you know, you're utterly fine. Best of luck to your garden, though. What's your favorite thing to grow? I'm a annual/biannual tender flower person + rosarian, myself. And I like root veggies and bush beans. Not enough space for more at present!)

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