Warnings over surge in listeriosis cases

on 06 April 2022 Midwifery Midwives RCM Member MSWs - Maternity Support Workers

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been alerted by public health authorities to an ongoing outbreak of listeria which is being linked with smoked fish. Midwives and MSWs are being urged to discuss these risks with the women in their care, as listeriosis during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.   

Clare Livingstone, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, advised addition caution in the light of these concerns. Clare said: "It is essential that all smoked fish products are safely prepared by thoroughly cooking to avoid infection. If women have any questions or concerns they should speak with their midwife or GP."

There has been a surge of cases of listeriosis since the beginning of 2022, which can be dangerous to pregnant women and other vulnerable groups.

Listeriosis is a rare infection caused by bacteria called listeria. It usually goes away on its own, but can cause serious problems for some people, including pregnant women and their babies.

In babies, older people and people with a weakened immune system, listeriosis can sometimes lead to serious and life-threatening problems such as sepsis or meningitis. Thoroughly cooking smoked fish is effective in destroying the Listeria bacterium.

You can find out more on listeriosis and listeria here.