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Foodbourne illness

A study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health revealed pregnant women may be putting their babies at risk of listeriosis, a serious foodbourne illness derived most commonly from soft cheese and smallgoods, because they do not receive enough information about the disease from their health service providers.

Listeria monocytogenes, the foodbourne pathogen, can have consequences for the baby including spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, septicaemia and meningitis.

There exists an opportunity for food manufacturers of products that are particularly vulnerable to contamination to create awareness through adequate product labelling.

Dolly Bondarianzadeh, lead researcher at the School of Health Sciences, University of Wollongong, said results indicate that when it comes to food, women who have enough information and knowledge from a trusted source change their eating behaviour.

The study surveyed 586 women attending antenatal clinics in one private and two major public hospitals in New South Wales and reported that more than half of the respondents had limited knowledge of food with high Listeria risk.

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