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Currently, there are several investigations happening across different states due to cases of a rare infection called listeriosis. Five cases were reported in Victoria this August, the most in a month since 2018.

Listeriosis is a rare but serious illness caused by eating contaminated food with Listeria bacteria. Those at higher risk are older adults, pregnant women and their babies, individuals with weak immune systems, and people with certain health issues like cancer, liver or kidney problems, or diabetes.

To stay safe, those at higher risk should avoid certain foods:

  1. Avoid cold deli meats that haven’t been further cooked, like ham or salami.
  2. Don’t consume unpasteurized milk or products made from it.
  3. Wash raw fruits, veggies, and herbs thoroughly.
  4. Stay away from raw or undercooked seafood.
  5. Be cautious with pre-cut fruits and vegetables.
  6. Be careful with fresh fruit and vegetable drinks if you don’t know how they were prepared.
  7. Skip soft-serve ice cream.
  8. Avoid soft cheeses like brie, camembert, and feta.
  9. Be cautious with refrigerated dips.
  10. Don’t eat raw or lightly cooked sprouts.
  11. Be cautious with sandwiches containing high-risk ingredients.
  12. Avoid ready-to-eat foods left in the fridge for more than a day without further cooking.

This helps reduce the risk of listeriosis, which can have severe symptoms, especially in high-risk individuals. Early treatment with antibiotics is crucial if infection occurs, but prevention is the best approach.

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