21 February 2000 FOOD SAFETY - Listeriosis outbreak in France: Commission expects France to take appropriate action
Commission Press Release (IP/00/175), 21 February 2000
Listeriosis outbreak in France: Commission expects France to take appropriate action
The European Commission has been informed from media sources that a new outbreak of listeriosis has been detected in France. According to these sources, 7 people have died and around 20 are ill. The French authorities are currently investigating the possible source of the outbreak and they have warned consumers especially those belonging to so-called vulnerable groups (elderly, pregnant, immunocompromised) to avoid products like cheeses made from raw milk, meat products and smoked fish.
This occurrence of listeriosis is the second outbreak announced this year in France. The Commission regards listeriosis outbreaks as very serious and expects that the French authorities will do their utmost to detect the source of the outbreak, to prevent its further spread and to take necessary steps to avoid any new outbreaks. In this regard, it is important to reassure consumers and immediately inform if any of the products have been traded outside France.
David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protections said: "Listeria has been a source of concern for some time and the Commission had already requested scientific advice on this. As a result of the scientific opinion last year, the Commission will shortly proposed enhanced controls to prevent listeria in food. "
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