Public Health Alert – Listeria detected in commercial food product
18 September 2023
Commercial food operators are being warned to stop using a shredded chicken product after it was identified as the probable source of a nationwide Listeria cluster.
Queensland Health investigators identified M & J Chickens’ easy serve breast fillet shredded chicken as the probable cause of Listeria cases across Queensland (5), New South Wales (3) and Victoria (1).
The product is sold in commercial quantities and is generally used by restaurants, cafes and hospitals.
Queensland Health Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard said the strain of Listeria found in the chicken samples was the same as the strain isolated from patients in Queensland.
“This cluster includes four cases that were probably acquired at the Mater Hospital, with the fifth case possibly acquired at Redcliffe Hospital,” Dr Gerrard said.
“An official food recall is likely to follow but for now, any business or individual in possession of the product should stop using it.
"Queensland public hospitals are being instructed not to use this product.”
Dr Gerrard said investigations into the other clusters were ongoing.
“The source of infection in the other two clusters are still under investigation.”
Dr Gerrard further confirmed that more cases could be identified in the coming weeks because of the long and variable incubation period.
Symptoms of listeriosis can include fever, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and neck stiffness.
Symptoms may appear within 24 hours of eating contaminated food, but it can take up to two months for symptoms to develop.
If you are concerned that you may have listeriosis, please see your GP or call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).
More information on listeriosis is available on the Queensland Government website.
- Easy serve breast fillet shredded chicken
- 2kg pack size – commercial quantity
- Marked as chilled by 16/10/2023
- Batch code: A5497