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Listeriosis is a serious illness caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria responsible for infection. The disease can be seen as individual cases or in outbreaks affecting many people within a given period.
Listeriosis is of particular concern to pregnant women as they are about 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to get listeriosis. About a third of listeriosis cases happen during pregnancy. Infection during pregnancy can cause premature delivery, miscarriage or stillbirth.
Foods commonly associated with listeriosis are raw fruits and vegetables, uncooked meats, processed ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats, unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from raw milk, and soft cheeses.