Event Details

PHO Grand Rounds: Listeriosis in Ontario

In 2008, Ontario experienced the largest listeriosis outbreak ever recorded in the province. Since then, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Public Health Ontario and local public health units have been collaborating with the Public Health Agency of Canada to conduct enhanced surveillance for this disease. 

Surveillance of enteric diseases is one of the core mandates of Public Health Ontario and is the primary means of obtaining better data on behavioural risk factors in order to inform prevention and control measures. 

This presentation provides a summary of listeriosis in Ontario from 2008 to the present. We focus on behavioral risk factors that have been identified among cases over this time period.  We also highlight a recent Health Canada study which examines consumer behavior, knowledge and attitudes regarding listeriosis.

We conclude with a discussion of potential opportunities to address health behaviors that can reduce the risk of acquiring listeriosis.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Summarize the major risk factors that are associated with acquiring listeriosis in Ontario.
  2. Describe consumers’ knowledge and attitudes towards listeriosis and food safety practices.
  3. Identify at least two listeriosis prevention strategies.

Presenter(s): Nicholas Brandon, Karen Johnson and Donna Nixon

Nick Brandon is a Public Health Physician in the Communicable Diseases, Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit at Public Health Ontario and an Assistant Professor in Clinical Public Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. He previously worked as an Associate Medical Officer of Health and clinically as a family physician. He is interested in the epidemiology, prevention and management of communicable diseases, as well as public health and medical education and the impact of environmental and social determinants of health.

Karen Johnson is an Epidemiologist Lead with the Enteric, Zoonotic and Vectorborne Disease Unit at Public Health Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Public Health and Safety from Ryerson University and a Master of Health Science in Epidemiology and Community Health from the University of Toronto. Since 2007, Karen has worked at the provincial level, providing expert surveillance and epidemiologic support to a variety of infectious diseases programs. 

Donna Nixon is one of Canada’s leading market research experts and a Partner with The Strategic Counsel.  She leads the Counsel’s health sector practice, with over 30 years tracking and monitoring public opinion on key political, socio-economic and cultural developments, impacting the design and delivery of public health strategies and health care in Canada.  She specializes in designing research-based communications and marketing strategies, as well as research to tackle complex and contentious public policy issues.  She was the principal investigative researcher for the Survey of Canadians’ Knowledge and Behaviours Related to Food Safety undertaken on behalf of Health Canada.



The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Grand Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Grand Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact events@oahpp.ca


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Updated 12 June 2019