Queensland Health has issued a warning that a shredded chicken product often used by restaurants and hospitals is likely responsible for a nationwide outbreak of listeria. The product in question is M & J Chickens’ easy-serve breast fillet shredded chicken, and it has been identified as the probable cause behind multiple cases of listeria in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria. As of now, nine cases have been identified.
Listeria is a serious bacterial infection that can cause severe illness, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems. The strain of Listeria found in the chicken samples matches the strain isolated from the patients, confirming the connection.
The chicken product in question is sold in large quantities and is primarily used by restaurants, cafes, and hospitals. Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr. John Gerrard, has emphasized the importance of stopping the use of this product immediately, as an official food recall is likely to follow. Public hospitals in Queensland have already been instructed not to use the product.
Investigations into the other clusters of listeria outbreaks are ongoing, and the source of infection has yet to be determined. It is possible that more cases will be identified in the coming weeks due to the variable incubation period of listeria.
Symptoms of listeriosis can include fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and neck stiffness. These symptoms may appear within 24 hours of consuming contaminated food but can take up to two months to develop. If you are concerned that you may have listeriosis, it is advised to consult your GP or call the appropriate helpline.
This article is based on the following source:
Queensland Health. (Source: Queensland Health identifies possible cause of listeria outbreak).