Consuming food contaminated with Listeria bacteria can cause an infection called listeriosis, although this is rare with around 180 cases occurring each year in England and Wales. In most people, listeriosis comprises mild symptoms but in certain at risk groups infection can be more severe. These food products have therefore been recalled as a precautionary measure to prevent possible illness.
The majority of healthy people will be unaffected but some people may develop symptoms of gastroenteritis such as abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and/or mild flu-like symptoms including a high temperature. These symptoms usually pass within three days without the need for treatment.
More rarely and usually in at risk individuals infection may spread to the blood or central nervous system leading to bacteraemia and/or meningitis and more severe symptoms.
Fit and healthy individuals need do nothing further. If you have mild diarrhoeal symptoms these should clear up and normally do not require medical treatment. If you develop a temperature and/or flu- like symptoms you should seek medical advice.
Persons with a weakened immune system (see at risk groups Q3) who have no symptoms need do nothing further. The incubation period of listeriosis can be up to 70 days. If you develop a symptoms of gastroenteritis and a temperature or flu- like symptoms during this period you should seek medical advice immediately.