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Two Australians die after eating contaminated smoked salmon

What is Listeriosis

 Listeriosis is a rare but serious disease caused by the bacteria that can survive and grow on certain high risk foods 

While it is probably common for people to eat foods contaminated with a small amount of the bacteria, only some people are at risk of becoming sick 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea and diarrhoea

Pregnant women generally experience mild symptoms themselves; however infections during the pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or infection of the newborn baby 

How is it spread? 

 L. monocytogenes is commonly found in the environment (such as soil) and some raw foods. Unlike many other bacteria, it can grow in the refrigerator. 

How is it prevented? 

 Try to avoid foods that have a higher risk of contamination such as:

Chilled seafood such as raw oysters, sashimi and sushi, smoked ready-to-eat seafood and cooked ready-to-eat prawns

Cold meats from delicatessen counters and sandwich bars, and packaged, sliced ready-to-eat meats

Cold cooked ready-to-eat chicken (whole, portions, or diced)


Pre-prepared or pre-packaged fruit or vegetable salads, including those from buffets and salad bars

Soft, semi-soft and surface-ripened cheeses such as brie, camembert, ricotta, blue and feta

Refrigerated paté or meat spreads

Soft serve ice cream

Unpasteurised dairy products

 Source: Department of Health