Information on protection against infections with Listeria

by Editor
Monday, March 31, 2008

A new consumer leaflet of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) provides information on protection against infections with Listeria. The leaflet is available from the BfR press office.

As infections with these bacteria, particularly with Listeria monocytogenes, have increased in Germany and Europe in recent years, BfR felt it was necessary to inform consumers about this pathogen. With around 500 reported cases per year in Germany this infectious disease occurs comparatively rarely.

Nonetheless, it is of major importance because of the severe course this disease takes. Infants, older people, pregnant women and individuals with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk. Because Listeria can occur in foods, special attention to kitchen hygiene should be paid in the case of these groups. An infection with Listeria, also called listeriosis, manifests flu-like symptoms; in severe cases it may even lead to meningitis.