Neal’s Yard Creamery Case Study

Last month, Neal’s Yard Creamery recalled a batch of its 200g Ragstone unpasteurised goat’s cheese. This was due to high levels of Listeria monocytogenes detected in the product.

What is Listeria monocytogenes?

Listeriosis has a significant public health and economic impact because of its high hospitalisation and mortality rate. Most people infected with listeria are hospitalised and approximately a third die.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause food poisoning, particularly among key vulnerable individuals, including pregnant women, new born babies, those over 60 years old, and anyone with reduced immunity. It is often transmitted through soil, sewage or untreated water. Foods typically affected include soft cheese, cheese made from unpasteurised milk, salad vegetables and pâté. The typical onset time is between 3 to 70 days and the symptoms are similar to flu.

Preventing Listeria monocytogenes

Where possible all dairy products should be pasteurised. Pasteurisation is a process that reduces harmful bacteria by application of heating to a specific temperature for a set period of time.

Information on whether the product is pasteurised or not is often displayed on the product label. If the word “pasteurised” does not appear on the label then the product may contain raw milk or raw milk products.

It is also important to note that both raw milk and pasteurised milk can cause allergic reactions to people sensitive to milk proteins.

Listeria monocytogenes can grow at refrigerated temperatures, so you must ensure that chilled food is stored at the appropriate temperature (≤8°C) and consumed by the stated ‘use by’ date.

For further questions please contact Food Alert on 020 7244 1900 or email




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