Health: Listeriosis – rare in pigs, becoming more frequent in humans

The outbreak at Maple Leaf’s Toronto plant made headlines. What is listeriosis, how common is it and how can it be avoided?


The listeriosis outbreak traced back to contaminated processed meats from a Maple Leaf processing plant in Toronto jumped on to national and international headlines in mid-August.

At the time of writing, more than 50 people had become ill with 19 deaths confirmed, mostly in Ontario, but also in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Almost all deaths have been in the elderly (over 70 years old), many in nursing homes or hospitals. All evidence to date indicates the outbreak is linked to contamination in a meat slicer in the Maple Leaf processing plant.

Better Pork - December 2008