Two Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks in a cancer centre: onsite food premises and their potential health risk to patients Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Abstract Background This report describes two L. monocytogenes outbreak investigations that occurred in March and September of 2018 and that linked illness to a food premises located in an Ontario cancer centre. The cancer centre serves patients from across the province. Methods In Ontario, local public health agencies follow up with all reported laboratory-confirmed cases of listeriosis to identify possible sources of disease acquisition and to carry out investigations, including at suspected food premises. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is notified of any Listeria-positive food product collected in relation to a case. The CFIA traces Listeria-positive product through the food distribution system to identify the contamination source and ensure the implicated manufacturing facility implements corrective measures. Results Outbreaks one and two each involved three outbreak-confirmed listeriosis cases. All six cases were considered genetically related by whole genome sequencing (WGS). In both outbreaks, outbreak-confirmed cases reported consuming meals at a food premises located in a cancer centre (food premises A) before illness onset. Various open deli meat samples and, in outbreak two, environmental swabs (primarily from the meat slicer) collected from food premises A were genetically related to the outbreak-confirmed cases. Food premises A closed as a result of the investigations. Conclusions When procuring on-site food premises, healthcare facilities and institutions serving individuals with immuno-compromising conditions should consider the potential health risk of foods available to their patient population.


  • Hobbs, J Leigh
  • Lee, Christina
  • Thompson, Brian
  • Andrew, Adrienne
  • Navarro, Christine
  • Dubey, Vinita
  • Maki, Anne
  • Kong, Adrienne
  • Griffin, Meghan
  • Chau, Kelvin
  • Murphy, Allana M
  • Lombos, Marina
  • Majury, Anna
  • Gerrie, Monica
  • Szidonya, Erin
  • Chung, Jackson
  • Ozaldin, Omar
  • Patel, Toral
  • Brandon, Nicholas
  • Warshawsky, Bryna

publication date

  • July 28, 2023