No one in Australia has actually become sick, but a cautionary recall of frozen vegetables is now underway at supermarkets around the country. Food Standards Australia New Zealand ordered the recall of about 10 products, due to the possible presence of listeria.
Listeria is a fairly common bacteria, but it can be fatal if ingested by babies, pregnant women, or people with compromised immune systems. Listeriosis symptoms often start out like the flu—with fever, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Left untreated—and particularly in the case of people with poor immune systems—the disease can cause brain swelling and septicemia.
In February this year, listeria-contaminated rock melons were blamed for the deaths of six people.
Now, the latest scare is thought to have originated at a single processing plant in Hungary. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 this plant was responsible for a string of outbreaks around Europe that killed nine people. It’s believed that despite the company’s best efforts to disinfect their equipment, the contamination has persisted.
"This suggests that the strains have persisted in the processing plant despite the cleaning and disinfection procedures that were carried out," reads a statement issued by the European Food Safety Authority.
The problem for us, here in Australia, is that many of these same products are imported to our supermarkets. So if you have any bags or tins of the following vegetables, maybe throw them out. And certainly don’t restock for a while.
- Woolworths: Essentials snap frozen mixed veg 1kg: carrots, peas, corn, green beans and potatoes. National distribution, best before 19 March 2020 - 24 April 2020.
- Woolworths: Bell Farms Steam Veggie Carrot Corn and Broccoli 3pk 450g. National distribution, all stock.
- IGA: Black & Gold Corn Kernels 500g bags.
- IGA: Black & Gold Mixed Vegetables 1kg: Carrots, peas, beans & corn
- ALDI: Market Fare Peas, Carrots and Super Sweet Corn 1kg
- ALDI: Market Fare Corn Kernels 1kg. QLD, VIC, WA and selected NSW stores - product of Hungary only
- ALDI: Market Fare Mixed Vegetables 1kg. QLD, NSW, ACT, WA - packed in Belgium from Imported and Belgian Ingredients (only)
- ALDI: Market Fare Quick Steam Carrot Broccoli and Cauliflower 450g. National distribution, only products with country of origin of Belgium, United Kingdom or Hungary, all other countries not affected.