The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA, is warning people aged 50 years or more to reheat their cold meat before eating, to avoid listeriosis – listeria infection. For those over 50, and especially over 65, such meats as hot-dogs, cold cuts, luncheon and deli meats should be heated to at least 165 degrees, what the CDC describes as “steaming hot”.

The CDC adds that any opened package of sliced meat should be thrown out within five days.

Listeria is much less common than salmonella or E. coli. However, it can be extremely deadly.

As Spring advances and the days get warmer, there are more group gatherings and a higher consumption of processed meats.

The problem with listeria is that it does not hold back in cold temperatures – put the cold meat in the fridge and it will continue to reproduce. The CDC says the concern over listeriosis in the USA is not new; it seems people are just not paying attention.