foods liable to listeria contamination

Last edited 04/2022 and last reviewed 04/2022

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

Due to a listeria outbreak linked to smoked fish, people at higher risk of serious infection should only eat smoked fish products that have been thoroughly cooked (2)

  • when cooking smoked fish products at home, make sure they are steaming hot all the way through.