According to health authorities in Australia, there has been a confirmed case of listeriosis which has been resulted in a death, may be linked to the consumption of foods supplied to an eastern suburbs private hospital.

A Dandenong South commercial caterer, I Cook Foods,has been ordered to suspend production while the source of infection is being investigated. Testing on samples of some food produced by the premise has returned positive results of Listeria monocytogenes. The caterer provides services to a range of private hospitals, aged care facilities and Meals on Wheels services in the north eastern and south east suburbs of Melbourne, Traralgon and Ballarat.

Affected private hospitals, aged care facilities and Meals on Wheels services are being urged to dispose of any foods produced by the caterer between 13 January 2019 and 21 February 2019.

People who are at an increased risk of listeriosis include those who are immunocompromised, the elderly, pregnant women and their fetuses and newborn babies.

The main route of transmission is through ingestion of contaminated food. Other routes of transmission include from mother to fetus via the placenta or at birth. The infectious dose is unknown. Healthy adults are usually not affected but may experience mild to moderate flu like symptoms.

Infection in pregnant women may be mild and a temperature before or during birth may be the only sign. However, the infection can be transmitted to the fetus through the placenta which can result in stillbirth or premature birth.

In immunosuppressed patients, listeriosis usually presents as a brain inflammation, brain abscess or bacteremia. Pneumonia, endocarditis and granulomatous lesions in the liver and other joints have also been described.

It is not possible to test for listeriosis in people who may have been exposed to listeria but are not showing symptoms. Early recognition and treatment in symptomatic people are important in high risk groups, such as pregnant women and immune-compromised people.

If listeriosis is suspected in a high-risk person, immediate testing (blood or stool cultures) should be undertaken. Immediate treatment with intravenous antibiotics should be considered in consultation with your local infectious disease’s unit in high risk symptomatic patients. It is important to educate people in high risk groups about the foods likely to be contaminated, and about safe food handling and storage. See Listeria Food Poisoning for more information.

Listeria:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as deli meat, cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a free case evaluation.