In order to curb a recent Europe-wide Listeriosis outbreak, many Food Standard Agencies have issued precautionary advice on cooking frozen vegetables.
This is a quick reminder to people throughout the UK that most frozen vegetables, including sweetcorn, need to be cooked before eating; this includes adding them to salads, smoothies or dips!
Listeria is a bacteria found in soil, water, and animals, including poultry and cattle. It can be present in raw milk and dairy products. It can also live in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats. While Listeria can grow in cold temperature environments, it is killed by cooking and pasteurization.
These are the most likely places you will find Listeria contamination;
- Ready-to-eat deli meats and hot dogs
- Refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads
- Unpasteurized (raw) milk and dairy products
- Soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk e.g. Feta, Brie, Camembert
- Refrigerated smoked seafood
- Raw sprouts
- Frozen vegetables
It can take anywhere from 3 to 70 days to show symptoms from eating contaminated products.
- Stiff neck
- Vomiting (sometimes preceded by diarrhoea)
Duration of Illness
Days to weeks
Who’s at Risk?
While the above symptoms can seem quite mild, they are likely to have a much higher impact on the health of anyone who is particularly at risk;
- Older adults
- Pregnant women
- People with weakened immune systems
- Organ transplant patients who are receiving drugs to prevent the body from rejecting the organ
- People with certain diseases, such as:
- HIV/AIDS or other autoimmune diseases
- End-stage renal disease
- Liver disease