Fully cooking frozen vegetables prevents listeria


Following the recall of some frozen vegetables by UK supermarkets Islanders are advised to ensure that frozen vegetables are fully cooked until piping hot before eating.

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) has published an update on an ongoing outbreak of listeriosis across Europe, dating back to 2015. The outbreak has been linked to frozen sweetcorn.

Public Health England (PHE) is working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) to identify the cause of 11 cases in the UK. Along with The FSA, FFS and HPS, PHE is reminding people that most frozen vegetables, including sweetcorn, need to be cooked before eating.

Dr Kathie Grant, Head of Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit at PHE, said:

‘We have been working with partners to identify the cause of 11 cases of listeriosis dating back to 2015, which are part of a larger outbreak across Europe.

‘Most people won’t have any symptoms of the infection or will only experience mild symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea, which usually pass within a few days without the need for treatment. More serious infection can develop in those with weakened immune systems or in vulnerable groups including babies, the elderly or pregnant women.

‘The best way to prevent listeriosis is to practise good food hygiene. Along with the FSA, FSS and HPS, we are reminding people that most frozen vegetables, including sweetcorn, need to be cooked before eating. This includes if adding them to salads, smoothies or dips.’

Listerosis is a very rare illness (our Consultant Microbiologist has seen only two cases in 10 years). For those who are concerned further information can be found on the NHS Choices website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/listeriosis/.

One of the symptoms is diarrhoea and vomiting (D&V) but this is currently circulating in our community and can be treated at home by following the instructions, here.