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Safe Food Choices for Vulnerable Groups

Any of us can get sick if we eat unsafe food, but some of us are more at risk than others. This leaflet tells you about safe food choices that can reduce your risk of getting food poisoning. The information here is especially important if you, or someone you are caring for, is at special risk of infection. 

Reducing the risk of listeriosis to vulnerable groups  Listeriosis is caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes  Vulnerable groups are at higher risk of hospitalisation and fatality.  Symptoms appear between 3 and 70 days after infection: -	Vomiting and nausea -	Persistent fever  -	Muscle aches, neck stiffness and severe headache  -	Pregnant women at risk of premature labour, meningitis in the new born and miscarriage   Chilled ready-to-eat (RTE) foods are more likely to be contaminated  Practical steps to reduce the risk of listeriosis -	Ensure all chilled RTE food is properly stored at ≤5°C  -	Minimise the time that food spends out of the cold chain  -	Serve chilled RTE food within its use-by date  -	Consume chilled RTE food as soon as possible after serving  -	Remove uneaten chilled RTE foods promptly from patients  -	Use a “first in, first out” system for chilled RTE foods  Agree a more stringent microbiological specification of “L. monocytogenes not detected in 25 g” with your suppliers of chilled RTE food

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Last reviewed: 7/9/2022

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