April 14, 2008
Pregnant women need advice on risks of listeria in foods
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is asking health professionals to inform pregnant women about the dangers of Listeria bacteria and the adverse effects it can have on them and their unborn child (1). This follows the results of a recent study from the University of Wollongong (2) which found that 57% of pregnant women were unaware of all the foods that could potentially contain Listeria and that about 25% were eating high risk foods.
Listeria may be present in raw foods, pre-prepared uncooked foods (such as prepared salads) or precooked foods (such as cold meats, cold chicken, seafood) which have been kept for some time after cooking. Good hygiene is important in the preparation and storage of foods to avoid Listeria contamination. The FSANZ brochure Listeria In Foods is a must read for all pregnant women. It can be downloaded free of charge from the FSANZ website www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/Listeria.pdf. More detailed information for health professionals is also available at www.foodstandards.gov.au/newsroom/factsheets/factsheets2005/Listeriacommonlyaske3115.cfm
1.Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Media Release- FSANZ Issues Listeria Warning. 1st November 2007
2.Bondarianzadeh D et al. Listeria education in pregnancy: lost opportunity for health professionals. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 2007;31(5)
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