foods liable to listeria contamination

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Listeria monocytogenes is unusual as it can multiply at low temperatures such as those found in refrigerators. As heating to 70 degrees for two minutes kills listeria, the greatest risk is from:

  • raw food such as cabbage
  • pre-cooked foods eaten cold or inadequately reheated
  • under-cooked food

Vulnerable patients should be advised to avoid:

  • soft ripened cheeses such as brie, camembert and blue vein types
  • pate
  • cooked-chilled meals and ready to eat poultry, unless thoroughly heated before they are eaten


  • (1) Dept of Health 9.12.92 PL/CMO(92)19

Last reviewed 01/2018