Deadly bacterial outbreak sparks food recall in Australia

Gladys Abbott
July 13, 2018

On June 29, the Hungarian Food Chain Safety Office banned the marketing of all frozen vegetable and frozen mixed vegetable products produced by the company's Baja facility.

According to a statement released by the retailer, "Food safety is of critical importance to Woolworths and we take all issues regarding the production of our food extremely seriously".

When you're cooking up a storm and you still have to put the pot of rice on the stove, it can be a bit of an effort.

The product contains frozen sweetcorn sourced from the Greenyard Factory in Hungary.

Listeria starts with flu-like symptoms before developing into septicemia and the swelling of the brain - if left untreated.

"Customers who have purchased the product, should return the product to their local store for a full refund".

"Some people are more vulnerable to listeria infections, including those over 65 years of age, pregnant women and their unborn babies, babies less than one-month-old and people with weakened immune systems".

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Frozen corn and possibly other frozen vegetables are the likely source of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has killed at least nine people in Europe.

A fatal case of listeria in Victoria could be related to the current outbreak linked to frozen vegetables. A listeria outbreak has hit five countries in the last three years - Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom.

New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries contacted New Zealand supermarkets on Monday to see if they stock products affected by a listeria outbreak in Australia.

"We have been alerted to the possible presence of listeria in certain frozen vegetable packs".

Foodborne bacteria such as listeria can be spread by cross-contamination, such as when raw and cooked foods are stored together.

Some of the products that have been recalled. Symptoms may include headaches, fever, tiredness and aches and pains.

Carstensen says the product has been tested and found to be compliant. "Thorough cooking would ensure that the product is safe".

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