Two elderly women died after eating ready-to-eat meat supplied to them in Hawke’s Bay Hospital. Following an investigation, traces of listeria were found in their food.
However, it is hard to identify these sources as the main culprit of a listeria outbreak in New Zealand, as said by food experts of New Zealand.
Since May, four cases of the notifiable disease have occurred in Hawke’s Bay hospital, out of which two are of the women who died because of listeria. They were not given effective immunization due to which they failed to fight back their illness.
For precautionary sake, a notice has been issued by the sole supplier of these products, Napier company Bay Cuisine, recalling all its products that are suspected to contain traces of the bacteria.
There are further investigations going on by the Ministry of Primary Industries. As said by a spokesman, efforts are being made to identify the source of listeria as soon as possible.
But then as mentioned by Professor Ian Shaw from the University of Canterbury Toxicology department, it seems quite hard to find out. He added, "There have been a few outbreaks of listeria in New Zealand over the last 10 years that I have been here. It doesn't mean that the regulatory authorities are bad, it means that listeria is a clever bacteria that gets around regulations very easily".
It’s one such kind of bacteria that tends to grow even in those cool temperatures as well. So don’t assume if your refrigerator would kill it; it will not.