Popular brands of frozen vegetables are being recalled from Australian supermarkets as a precautionary measure over fears of contamination by deadly bacteria.
The move comes after supermarket supplier Greenyard Frozen UK recalled 43 sweetcorn-based products from various brands last week.
The UK Food Standards Agency said the products could be contaminated by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, responsible for the death of two people in the UK in 2017.
Earlier this year, the same bacteria killed six people in NSW and Victoria.
This Monday, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand issued a similar alert, tagging as dangerous a number of vegetable products sold across every major Australian supermarket chain.
“The products affected contain a particularly dangerous strain of Listeria and are being recalled as a precautionary measure to ensure consumers are protected, but particularly vulnerable populations,” FSANZ CEO Peter May said in a press release.
“While many people will follow cooking instructions properly (which should kill Listeria bacteria) we are aware that some people eat frozen vegetables straight from the freezer and there is a risk of some people not cooking produce properly.”
The organization also warned pregnant woman and people with weakened immune systems such as cancer patients and the elderly to take extra precautions.
“Consumers who have the product in their freezer should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or dispose of it. Consumers who have eaten the product and feel unwell should see a health professional.”
Listeria monocytogenes is responsible for Listeriosis, a serious bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, severe sepsis and even death. Pregnant woman, newborn babies and the elderly are especially vulnerable.
Symptoms include headaches, stiff neck, fever and muscle aches, sometimes preceded by diarrhea. Pregnant women usually only experience mild, flu-like symptoms while other high-risk groups experience confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.
The following products have been included in the recall:
- Woolworths – Essentials snap frozen mixed veg 1kg: Carrots, peas, corn, green beans & potatoes – National distribution. Best before dates 19 MAR 2020 through to 24 APR 2020
- Woolworths – Bell Farms Steam Veggie Carrot Corn and Broccoli 3pk 450g – National distribution, all stock
- IGA – Black & Gold Corn Kernels 500g – National distribution. Best before all dates
- IGA – Black & Gold Mixed Vegetables 1kg: Carrots, peas, beans & corn – National distribution. Best before all dates
- ALDI – Market Fare Peas, Carrots and Super Sweet Corn 1kg – National distribution
- ALDI – Market Fare Corn Kernels 1kg QLD, VIC, WA and select 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
- ALDI – Market Fare Quick Steam Carrot Corn and Broccoli 450g – National distribution
- ALDI – Only products with country of origin of Belgium, United Kingdom or Hungary. All other countries not affected