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Contaminated Ham Served To Kids And Their Parents At Children's Hospital

Listeria has been detected in a batch of ham that was served to patients and families at a Brisbane children's hospital earlier this month.

The bacteria, which can lead to the deadly illness Listeriosis, was found in food served between May 10 and 20 at the Queensland Children's Hospital.

"The ham sandwiches were served on platters and snack boxes provided in inpatient wards and the emergency department," Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service said in a statement.

"Ham salads were also served in inpatient wards."

"Some parents and carers may also have eaten the sandwiches or salads."

The hospital stressed the ham was not served to patients in the Bone Marrow Transplant ward, who would be most at risk from listeria due to their compromised immune systems.

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While no illnesses have been reported yet, those who were in the impacted areas are being contacted directly as a precaution.

Symptoms of the illness normally begin between three and 70 days after consuming contaminated food.

The elderly, pregnant women, their unborn babies, newborns, and other people with weakened immune systems are most at risk of developing Listeriosis.

Queensland Children's Hospital. IMAGE: Getty Images

Routine food and safety testing at the hospital detected the contaminated meat -- which was commercial sliced ham and it was removed from patient menus.

Further testing is underway to determine the source of the bacteria.

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Contact the author alattouf@networkten.com.au