Prevention of listeriosis (Listeria)

Learn how listeriosis can be prevented.

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How can listeriosis be prevented?

There is no vaccine to prevent listeriosis. 

However, you can reduce your risk of getting listeriosis by:

It is difficult to prevent illness from listeriosis based on a food’s appearance. Foods that are contaminated with the Listeria bacteria will look, smell and taste normal. This is why people at high-risk for severe illness should avoid eating the following foods:

  • deli meats, unless they are:
    • dried and salted
    • heated until steaming hot
  • pâté and meat spreads, unless they are:
    • frozen
    • canned
    • shelf-stable (able to survive for long periods of time without spoiling on store or home shelves)
  • raw or undercooked meat, poultry and fish
  • hot dog wieners, unless they are heated until they are steaming hot
  • raw or unpasteurized dairy products, including soft and semi-soft cheese, such as:
    • Brie
    • Camembert
    • blue-veined cheese
  • refrigerated smoked seafood and fish, though the following seafood and fish options offer safer choices:
    • canned  
    • shelf-stable
    • fully cooked
    • frozen smoked

You can help prevent others from getting sick by contacting your local public health authority to report:

  • unclean restaurants or grocery stores
  • suspected food poisoning from a restaurant

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