Listeriosis is a rare infection caused by bacteria called listeria. It usually goes away on its own, but can cause serious problems if you're pregnant or have a weak immune system.
Listeriosis is usually caught from eating food containing listeria bacteria.
You can get it from lots of types of food, but it's mainly a problem with:
These foods do not always cause listeriosis. If you have eaten them recently, you do not need to do anything unless you get symptoms of the infection.
You can also catch listeriosis from:
In most people, listeriosis has no symptoms or only causes mild symptoms for a few days, such as:
If you have these symptoms, you can usually look after yourself at home.
You may need a blood test to check for the infection and antibiotics to treat it.
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Get an urgent GP appointment
A GP may be able to help you.
Ask your GP practice for an urgent appointment.
If you're pregnant, you can call your midwife for advice.
These could be symptoms of meningitis caused by listeriosis, which needs to be treated in hospital straight away.
There are some simple things you can do to reduce your risk of getting listeriosis:
If you're pregnant, you should avoid eating foods that have the highest risk of causing listeriosis.
If you're pregnant, you should also avoid close contact with farm animals that are giving birth or have recently given birth.