Since September 2013, at least 20 people have been infected with listeriosis, resulting in a dozen fatalities, according to the Statens Seruminstitut (computer translated).  Officials at Fødevarestyrelsen say the tainted meat, a sausage called “rullepølse”, originated from Jørn A Rullepølser in Hedehusene near Copenhagen and have closed down the producer. The lot of tainted sausage was withdrawn from the market in May.

rolled sausage
Photo of sliced meat, danish “rullepølse” (rolled sausage)
Image/Danielle Keller

Although there has been 20 cases in the past 12 months, health authorities say 15 of the cases occurred in June-August 2014.

The patients in this outbreak is 11 women and nine men aged 43-89 years and they reside in the country. There are 12 patients who died within 30 days after the test date.

The outbreak is believed to be under control after the food authorities traced the source of the bacteria.

According to SSI, Listeriosis is a food-borne infection caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes can be found everywhere in the environment and therefore also in raw foods. All people are eating bacterium from time to time, but only in already weakened people get sick.

Risk factors for the disease include cancer, hematological disorders, diabetes and pregnancy. The disease appears most often as blood poisoning or meningitis. The mortality rate is approximately 25%. Most patients are hospitalized with symptoms such as fever, general weakness and possibly diarrhea and vomiting.

In pregnant women, there is a risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. The incubation period for listeriosis is between 1 and 70 days (usually 7-21 days) and the long incubation period makes it often difficult to find the source of infection. The bacteria grow at refrigerator temperature and known risk foods are meats, smoked fish and pickled fish and soft cheeses. In Denmark usually reported about 50 cases of listeriosis per year. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page