Whole genome sequencing analysis has identified an outbreak of 12 linked cases of listeriosis since 2020 – including six since January 2022 – with cases identified in England and Scotland.
The FSA has not yet identified the source of the outbreak, but the investigation is still ongoing.
The majority of these people said they had eaten smoked fish – one of whom was identified as a pregnant woman.
In light of the ongoing outbreak, precautionary advice has been issued for pregnant women, advising them to cook smoked fish thoroughly before eating it.
Guidance for avoiding listeriosis infection is updated to include smoked fish as a high-risk product that must be thoroughly cooked before consumption by anyone in a high-risk group.
Tina Potter, FSA Incident Manager, said: “Due to an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes linked to smoked fish, we remind people at risk of Listeria infection of the risks of consuming smoked fish and ask them to ensure that smoked fish is always thoroughly cooked. , including when served as part of a dish before eating it.
“We are working closely with UK partners in government to ensure this advice is as clear as possible – members of the public do not need to avoid these products, but should ensure the risks are reduced as much as possible.
Meanwhile, Ferrero has recalled select lots of Kinder Surprise products that have been linked to an outbreak of salmonella.
Investigations by the UK Health Security Agency, Public Health Scotland, Public Health Wales and the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland have found a link between reported cases of salmonella poisoning in the UK and a specific product made by the Ferrero company.
Listeria and listeriosis
Listeria is a bacterium that causes a disease called listeriosis. It is widespread in the environment and can contaminate a range of foods at low or standard refrigeration temperatures.
It can be destroyed by thorough cooking. It is of particular concern in chilled ready-to-eat foods that do not require additional cooking, such as smoked fish.