Two listeria cases detected in Belgium after deadly Dutch outbreak
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Two listeria cases detected in Belgium after deadly Dutch outbreak

The outbreak in the Netherlands led to three deaths and a miscarriage over a two-year period. Pictured, a listeria lab sampling. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Two people in Belgium have been infected with listeria bacteria that lead to the death of three people in the Netherlands, a sampling by a federal health centre showed.

The cases in Belgium affected a 97-year-old woman and a Dutch national who recently gave birth in Antwerp, a study by federal health research centre Sciensano confirmed.

Both women were infected with the bacteria in 2018, according to the study, which compared samples of bacteria in the Netherlands with those of Belgian patients infected, HLN reports.

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The centre’s study comes after three people died and one woman had suffered a miscarriage in the Netherlands after eating meat contaminated with listeria over a two-year period, which was reportedly linked to Dutch meat producer Offerman.

In Germany, two listeria-related deaths were also reported in the central state of Hesse.

News of the deaths led supermarkets in Belgium to issue recalls for prepackaged meat, a move they said at the time was precautionary. Offerman, a subsidiary of Belgian food group Ter Beke, has since been shut down in the Netherlands.

The Sciensano study could not identify the cause of the infections in Belgium, since isolated cases, unlike outbreaks, are not subject to follow-ups, Het Nieuwsblad reports.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times