By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

A health alert was issued Friday at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane due to Listeria-tainted ham.

The bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes, was detected in a batch of commercial sliced ham served to patients and families in the Queensland Children’s Hospital between 10 and 20 May 2019.

The contaminated ham was detected through routine food and safety testing at the hospital and removed from patient menus.

The ham sandwiches were served on platters and snack boxes provided in inpatient wards and the emergency department. Ham salads were also served in inpatient wards. Some parents and carers may also have eaten the sandwiches or salads.

Hospital officials say the ham was NOT available to inpatients on the Bone Marrow Transplant ward, who would be most at risk due to their immunocompromised state.

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Children’s Health Queensland is working closely with the Chief Health Officer and the Metro South Public Health Unit to ensure the health and safety of all patients and families who may have consumed the sandwiches at the hospital.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.