Proposed guidance for healthcare and social care organisations: reducing the risk of vulnerable groups contracting listeriosis

Last updated:
28 September 2015
We have produced new guidance for healthcare and social care organisations to help them reduce the risk of vulnerable people within their care contracting listeriosis through the consumption of chilled ready-to-eat food. The guidance has been developed with input from a wide range of stakeholders and is intended to complement good practice in the food industry.

Your views

We are seeking views on the draft guidance on reducing the risk of vulnerable groups contracting listeriosis.

We welcome any comments you have about whether the guidance:

  • is helpful and does what it claims to do
  • is a fair and proportionate view of the law
  • clearly distinguishes what is good practice
  • places unnecessary burdens on organisations within healthcare and social care settings and local authorities

There is a section in the guidance that deals with food service to patients/residents and advises on good practice to minimise the risk of listeriosis for vulnerable groups. In some healthcare organisations, such as hospitals, this responsibility may fall to non-catering staff. Therefore, we particularly welcome any comments from these healthcare and nursing professionals about whether this section of the guidance:

  • is proportionate and/or practicable in the environment where food is served directly to patients/residents

In addition, our guidance specifies that there should be no need to limit or restrict the menu choice of foods offered to vulnerable patients/residents. We would welcome your views on whether this is clear.

Please explain the reasoning for responses as this will help us to better understand and consider your view.  Where possible, please include examples or other evidence to support your views.

When

The deadline for comments is Monday 21 December 2015.

Contact

Raj Pal
email: raj.pal@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk
tel: 020 7276 8083

About the guidance

Who is the guidance for?

The main audiences for the guidance are all types of healthcare and social care organisations that provide food for vulnerable groups. Serious infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes is called listeriosis. It generally affects people with reduced immunity. The guidance is also intended for Environmental Health Practitioners and procurement partners.

Purpose of the guidance

Food safety management processes within healthcare and social care organisations can be complex and there will be many factors to consider in approaches to reduce the risk of listeriosis.

The guidance is intended to help healthcare and social care organisations determine what steps can be put in place to reduce the risk of L. monocytogenes in foodstuffs and to complement good practice in the food industry.

What area the proposal applies to

  • food law, monitoring and controls
  • hygiene and food safety