Listeria and food
Most cases of Listeria are due to contaminated food. Listeria is an unusual bacterium because it can grow at low temperatures, including refrigeration temperatures of below 5 degrees Celsius. It is, however, killed by cooking food thoroughly and by pasteurisation. Advice on which foods pregnant women should avoid to reduce the risk of listeriosis is available on the NHS Inform website.
Listeria and lambing season
Listeria infection can also be acquired through direct contact with animals, in particular during lambing. Pregnant women are especially at risk and should avoid close contact with sheep who are giving birth, to protect themselves and their unborn child.
- Information on listeria and food safety is available on the Food Standards Scotland website.
- Read our advice for pregnant women and animals that are giving birth.
Data and surveillance
* 2020 data remains provisional
** includes Listeria species and L. monocytogenes
Data source: Public Health Scotland