Health authorities have recently issued warnings for listeriosis (infection with listeria bacteria) which can be a serious risk for pregnant women.
Listeriosis is usually caught from contaminated food. It is generally a mild infection causing fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness.
However those at high risk, such as pregnant women, those with a weakened immune system and older people, can develop septicaemia (blood poisoning), meningitis (brain infection) and even death. In pregnancy, it can also cause miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.
How to reduce your risk of listeriosis
Follow these rules to reduce your risk of infection:
· Cook food thoroughly to kill the bacteria.
· Eat freshly cooked or freshly prepared foods.
· Refrigerate leftovers promptly and eat within a day.
· Reheat foods to ‘steaming hot’ to kill the bacteria.
· When eating out, order hot meals and avoid smorgasbords and salad bars.
These foods are at higher risk of contamination and are best avoided by pregnant women and others at risk: