Economy

Australia and NZ recall frozen vegetables over listeria fears

Australia and NZ recall frozen vegetables over listeria fears

Frozen Savoury Rice Mix was removed as part of the worldwide recall by the Hungarian Food Safety Agency as a precaution, Woolworths said in a statement on Monday.

A fatal case of listeria in Victoria could be related to the current outbreak linked to frozen vegetables.

"Customers should return the product to their nearest store where they will receive a full refund". "At this stage, we don't have specific data or confirmation on health issues linked to contamination of our products, but we continue to monitor this and have taken a range of measures to pre-empt potential health risks", Greenyard says. The Frozen Savoury Rice Mix product is uncooked and frozen and so requires cooking before consumption.

Listeriosis is an illness usually caused by eating food contaminated by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The company added none of their other frozen sweetcorn or vegetable products are affected.

"The products affected contain a particularly risky strain of listeria and are being recalled as a precautionary measure to ensure consumers are protected", chief executive Peter May said.

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The recalled vegies were sold at IGA, Aldi and Woolworths and include the brands Black and Gold, Bell Farms, Market Fare and Essentials.

Although uncommon, it can be particularly risky for pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

"But if you're aged 70 or above, under aged five, newborn or sick (with diabetes, in hospital, having chemotherapy, having operations etc) then you can die from consuming listeria that is found on some frozen food".

While listeriosis can be a nasty bacteria that leads to illness, it is also a preventable evil. "Also in pregnant women listeria can cause miscarriage, and if the baby is born it could have brain damage". Product of Hungary (only).

"There are indications that contaminated products may still be on the market or that contaminated products purchased before the recalls are still being consumed", the authority said.

While properly cooked frozen vegetables are safe to eat, if uncooked or undercooked they can pose a serious listeria threat.