Australia and NZ recall frozen vegetables over listeria fears

Jermaine Castillo
July 13, 2018

They were sold in supermarket chains Woolworths, Aldi and IGA.

Woolworths said on Tuesday it has issued a recall of its frozen savoury rice mix product which contains sweetcorn imported from a factory suspected of being the source of a Listeria outbreak in Europe.

- Market Fare Peas, Carrots and Super Sweet Corn 1kg.

Most of the products taken off the shelves are own-brand vegetable mixes, and 11 total cases of listeria have so far been identified in the UK.

Consumers should not consume this product and should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

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AusVeg, the peak body for the Australian vegetable industry, said consumers have a "right to ask" how supermarkets assure (that) growers overseas are complying with local standards and that proper processes are maintained. In pregnant women, listeria can lead to miscarriage, infection of the newborn, or stillbirth.

It is understood the affected foods came from in Hungary and Belgium.

Australia has become caught up in a European food scare, with supermarkets across the country recalling bags of frozen vegetables over fears they may contain a deadly bacteria.

ALDI - Only products with country of origin of Belgium, United Kingdom or Hungary.

Woolworths says none of their other frozen sweetcorn or vegetable products is affected.

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It can cause food poisoning that can be serious or even life-threatening in pregnant women, the elderly and people whose immune systems are weak. Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramps.

The listeria warning comes after a similar outbreak earlier this year affecting Australian rockmelons.

In healthy people, the infection may be mistaken for a mild viral infection or flu. "Thorough cooking would ensure that the product is safe".

Listeria is a rare bacteria responsible for the disease listeriosis. "This product has been tested and found to be compliant".

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