The science behind the story:
Listeriosis, the foodborne illness caused by listeria, is relatively rare, but listeria causes more deaths from food poisoning in the UK than other foodborne bugs. Vulnerable groups of the population are at increased risk and many cases are associated with chilled ready-to eat foods.
The Agency aims to reduce the number of cases of listeriosis in the UK by the year 2015 through the Listeria Risk Management Programme.
Between 2000 and 2009, the annual number of laboratory-confirmed cases of listeriosis more than doubled from 114 to 234 cases in the UK. In 2012, there were 184 laboratory-confirmed cases, which remains elevated (more than 50%) above levels observed in the 1990s.
Listeriosis has a significant public health and economic impact because of its high hospitalisation and mortality rate. Most people infected with listeria are hospitalised and approximately a third die. The disease costs the UK economy an estimated £245 million a year.