Research – England and Wales see Listeria infection decline

Food Safety News

The number of Listeria infections fell in 2020 in England and Wales, according to recently released data.

In total, 124 cases of listeriosis were reported in England and Wales in 2020, which is the lowest amount in several years. In 2019, 144 cases were recorded.

There were two outbreaks in England. One was a national epidemic with four cases associated with smoked salmon. Two people died. The other caused two illnesses from 2018 to 2020 and was linked to prepacked sandwiches served in hospitals.

Surveillance of listeriosis in England and Wales is coordinated by the Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). New cases are reported by local clinical laboratories, and health protection teams and by the referral of Listeria monocytogenes isolates to the Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit (GBRU) for whole genome sequencing (WGS).

Incidence rates were highest in people aged 80 years and older.

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