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Christine Dumontet : Questions santé voyage et vaccination

President Dumontet CSV Inc. Nurse

Spain: Listeriosis

20 September 2019

Spain: Listeriosis

From 7 July through 13 September , a total of 222 confirmed cases linked to this outbreak have been reported in five regions of Spain: Andalusia (214), Aragon (4), Extremadura (2), Castilla y Leon (1), and Madrid (1). Fifty-seven per cent of cases are women including 38 pregnant women and 24% of cases are 65 years old or above (24 men and 25 women). Three deaths have been reported among elderly persons who were ill with listeriosis at the time of death. Reportedly, six women had miscarriages linked to this outbreak. 


The epidemic has been associated with the consumption of roast pork from Seville, Spain.


Listeriosis is a disease caused by the consumption of food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium is found in the environment, especially in the soil, vegetation, water and stool of some animals.


Listeria bacteria can be found in the following food products:

  • meats eaten raw, for example in the form of tartar;
  • raw fish, consumed in the form of tartar or sushi, sashimi and maki;
  • products made from raw or unpasteurized milk;
  • prepared foods that may have been contaminated during manufacture (after cooking, before packaging), for example:
  • ready-to-eat products,
  • smoked fish, like salmon,
  • soft and semi-soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk,
  • cooked charcuterie products, such as pâtés and spreads, rillettes and fermented sausages,
  • hot dog sausages;
  • fresh products, such as pre-packaged salads, cantaloupes.
  • The bacteria that causes listeriosis is destroyed by cooking.
  • The bacteria can also multiply at cold temperatures (4 ° to 10 ° C), for example in foods stored in the refrigerator.

Finally, Listeria contamination can occur as a result of product handling, by cross-contamination, that is to say by direct contact of healthy products with contaminated products.

In general, it is recommended to avoid eating foods that may be contaminated with listeria, especially for people at risk.




Source: WHO: Listeriosis-Spain