Three dead in Australian listeria outbreak

A listeria outbreak linked to a Victorian cheese factory has claimed a third life.

A 68-year-old NSW man died from the infection last month, a Victorian health department spokesman confirmed on Sunday.

A Tasmanian man, 44, and a Victorian man, 88, have also died of the illness.

A total of 26 cases, including the three fatal cases and one miscarriage, have now been linked to the Jindi cheese factory in Gippsland.

Some soft cheeses produced by Jindi were pulled from supermarket shelves last year but the Victorian health department spokesman said the bacteria had a long incubation period.

"The symptoms may not show up for quite some time," the spokesman said.

Food poisoning from listeria can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women, older people and people with immunosuppressed systems, he said.

The department was "okay" with cheese produced at the Jindi cheese factory after January 7, he said.

-AAP

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