Listeria Outbreak

Listeria Outbreak

24 January 2013

18 January 2013

  • A national outbreak of listeriosis has been reported related to soft cheeses.
  • Patients at increased risk of listeriosis should be counselled to avoid consuming high risk foods.
  • Advice provided on responding to questions from concerned patients.

Background

A national investigation into an outbreak of listeriosis cases has linked 18 cases of illness to soft cheese manufactured by Jindi Cheese Pty Ltd, with two deaths. Six cases have been from New South Wales including a pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage.

The Jindi Cheese company had voluntarily recalled batches of brie and camembert on 18 December, after the first cases were identified. Jindi is now voluntarily recalling its cheeses from all batches manufactured up until 7 January 2013.

Common questions and advice

Counsel individuals at high risk who have consumed Jindi (or other) soft cheeses: To be reassured that the risk on an individual level is very low for this rare infection. That there is no value in testing for Listeria unless they have symptoms. To be aware of symptoms of Listeriosis - such as fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhoea - so that they can seek early assessment, testing and treatment if required. That they should avoid consuming high risk foods.

General Listeria Advice Listeria is a rare disease with only 20-30 cases reported each year in New South Wales. People at increased risk of listeriosis include: pregnant women and the foetus, newborns, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems (for example: people on cancer treatment or oral steroids and people with diabetes, renal disease, hepatic disease or HIV infection). Listeriosis during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection in newborns. Patients at increased risk of listeriosis should be made aware of which foods at higher risk of Listeria contamination to avoid and other prevention measures outlined in the following factsheet:

NSW Health Listeriosis Factsheet:www.health.nsw.gov.au/factsheets/infectious/listeriosis.html

Further Information