Listeria is a group of bacteria that contains ten species. One of these, Listeria monocytogenes, causes the disease “listeriosis” in humans and animals. Although listeriosis is rare, the disease is often severe with high hospitalisation and mortality rates.
Listeria is found in soil, plants and water. Animals, including cattle, sheep and goats, can also carry the bacteria. Listeriosis is usually contracted by eating contaminated foods.