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Listeriosis Outbreak in Europe

26 Mar 2018

On 22 March 2018, the European Centre for Disease Surveillance and Control (ECDC)reported an outbreak of listeriosis in five European countries. Between 2015 and 8 March 2018, there have been 32 cases (6 deaths) in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It is likely that frozen corn is the source of the infection.

Advice to Travellers

Listeriosis is usually self limiting but can be a serious disease and is especially dangerous to pregnant women, infants, elderly people, transplant patients, people with weakened immune systems or underlying medical conditions. Anyone in these groups who may be infected should seek medical attention. Symptoms include: fever, muscle and joint pains, nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhoea.

Food should be chosen that is freshly cooked to a high temperature and served immediately while still hot. Meat and vegetables should be thoroughly cooked and eaten hot whenever possible. Fruit should be peeled.

Avoid the following:

  • Leftovers and reheated meat
  • Ready-to-eat cooked meats and sausage
  • Pâté or meat spreads
  • Unpasteurized milk and dairy products e.g. soft cheese.
  • Refrigerated uncooked seafood
  • Raw vegetables or salad
  • Contact with infected people eg through food handling
  • Contact with infected animals

See Food and Water Precautions.