Worcester, UK

#1 Feb 6, 2012
Hi I am hoping someone will be able to help me here.
My mother is currently in hospital and has spent the last two weeks fighting for her life as she has Listeria from a food source and because of complications with it, it developed to meningitis.

The hospital were obliged to report the Listeria to the public health protection department whom contacted me with regards to my mother's case and I was asked where she had eaten out for the past month.
I provided these details as accurately as possible and all the information I provided was past over to Environmental health to investigate further.
I was aksed inniatially what was in my mothers fridge and after I checked it the majority of the contents were not applicable however, there was a box of in date individually wrapped soft cheeses.
I also mentioned this to Environmental health who today said they do not wish to take samples of the cheeses as they feel there is no risk as no other case has been reported. also one of the places my mother has eaten at and ate ham, infact only two days prior to falling seriously ill were visited today by environmental health and the report came back saying they were not concerned as the fridges etc were at the correct tempratures.
The thing of which that really is racking my brains is do environmental health not realise that Listeria survives under cold tempratures?? so really am I right in saying its irrelevant if the fridges were at the correct tempratures?
The other is, because no other cases of Listeria have been reported over the past month or so, anywhere my mother has eaten has to be ruled out but, do they not realsie that the majority of people who get Listeria only have mild flu like sysmptoms with sickness or tummy upset??
for example how many times through your life have you eaten something, been sick for a day or two or had flu like symptoms and have simply assumed it was down to a bug or something dodgy you have eaten? we dont always dash to the doctor to report a day or two of an icky tummy do we?
so, I have reached the conclusion that there may well be other cases recently but as a well known fact because the symptoms are generally mild people have no idea what it is, sadly in my mothers case as I mentioned, she has had to fight for her life.
could anyone advise me please on how to deal with Environmental health and maybe educate them on Listeria?
And how do I stand on making sure the soft cheese does get tested.
Comments welcome, thanks.

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