Listeriosis infections linked to smoked salmon

Listeriosis is the infection caused by listeria bacteria. A number of foods naturally contain the listeria bacteria, including salmon, soft cheeses and some fruits. In recent days, there have been reports of deaths from listeria linked to smoked Salmon. The health authorities in both Victoria (VIC) and New South Wales (NSW) have confirmed that listeria is related to recent deaths. In Queensland, a non-fatal case is being investigated by the Australian Department of Health. Conclusive findings regarding the source of contamination are yet to be confirmed.

People typically at risk

Those people who are typically at risk from the bacteria are the elderly, pregnant women and small children. At low levels, this bacteria can affect a specific target group more than others as they are more vulnerable. Symptoms are flu-like and can present as fever, chills, muscle aches and nausea. In both cases, the victims who died were aged in their 70’s.

Nearly all reports about the incident highlight that it is very important to understand how to handle, prepare and store food safely. There has been investigation into the food safety practices of companies who produce and distribute salmon. There have been no findings that they have breached the Food Standards Code. This message was also reinforced by Tasmania’s Premier, Will Hodgman.

SImilar outbreaks

Listeriosis related to contamination of rockmelons has been recorded earlier in the year. The people affected in that incident also fell into the target group previously identified as being vulnerable.