Compiled By: Julie A. Albrecht, Ph.D., Associate Professor
The Organism: Yersinia species are commonly found in a wide variety of animals, birds and environmental sources. Pigs are the most important animal source.
Sources of the organism:
- Intestinal tracts of infected animals, poultry, and humans
- Contaminated water
- Meat (pork, beef, lamb, etc.)
- Unpasteurized milk
Microorganism Characteristics: Gram negative rod shaped bacteria
- Temperature range: 0-113°C (32-113°F)
- Optimum Temperature: 37°C (98.6°F)
- pH range: Tolerant of alkaline environments
The Disease: Yersiniosis is a gastroenteritis which mimics appendicitis. The disease is rare in the United States but more common in Europe.
- Sharp pain in lower right quadrant of abdomen
- (appendicitis-like symptom)
- Complications may include reactive arthritis
- 24-48 hours
Duration of symptoms:
- 1-3 weeks
- Thoroughly cook meat, poultry and seafood.
- Use pasteurized milk.
- Proper sanitation of food contact surfaces and utensils.
- Use proper hand washing techniques and personal hygiene practices.
- Because Yersinia can grow at refrigeration temperatures, extended shelf-life refrigerated foods need to be handled and stored properly.