MARION – The Ohio State University is seeking Marion County families to help with a food safety study that researchers hope will lead to revisions of the nation’s food safety guidelines.
Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center is studying the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which causes the food-borne illness listeriosis. It is most commonly associated with pre-packaged, ready-to-eat foods such as deli meats, salad and hot dogs.
While illnesses are rare, researchers said it is fatal for about a quarter of the people who become ill. Pregnant women, infants, senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems are the most vulnerable.
"Those who are healthy can usually fight it off," said Marion General Hospital infection control coordinator Kathy Ridge.
Lead researcher Lydia Medeiros, associate professor of human nutrition in the College of Education and Human Ecology, said that the university started
the study about a year ago but needs more families to get the kind of data it needs. Researchers are looking for both non-farm families who live in rural areas and families who live on farms with dairy or beef cattle, sheep or goats.