One person has died and six others have fallen ill as Victorian health authorities warn of a rise in listeria food poisoning cases.
People have been told to be careful with food hygiene at Christmas after more listeria cases than usual in the state.
“The seven cases in recent weeks have been reported in Victoria and I’m sorry to say that one of those people has died,” Victorian chief health officer Charles Guest told 3AW on Thursday.
“We’re thinking of the family where that tragedy has occurred and wanting to warn Victorians about food safety, particularly in the warmer weather.”
Although the cases have not been linked to each other or to a particular food, health professionals have been warned to be aware of the increased risk of listeriosis over summer.
The disease primarily affects pregnant women, newborns, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
Most people contract listeriosis after eating contaminated food.
“Be very vigilant about your food hygiene practices in the warmer weather,” Professor Guest said.
“Avoid eating the turkey for half an hour at 1pm and then coming back for seconds at 4pm while the turkey sits on the table outside, just continuing to incubate bacteria.”