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Frozen Food Recall: Listeria Warning for Pregnant Women

Fears that the deadly listeria bacteria which killed six people in NSW and Victoria earlier this year is present in a range of frozen vegetables in supermarkets across Australia has triggered a recall. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) issued an alert on Monday for several brands of frozen vegetables to be recalled as a precautionary measure.

Acting CEO of FSANZ, Peter May, said pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are at a greater risk of listeria infection, and should check the vegetables in their freezer to ensure they are not part of the recall. You can read more about what is safe to eat in pregnancy here and here.

Mr May said that if cooking instructions are correctly followed and the vegetables are boiled well, any listeria should be killed by the boiling water. However, he was aware that some people eat them straight from the freezer or do not follow the cooking instructions.

The vegetable products are stocked in Woolworths, Aldi and IGA stores, and are found in vegetables originating from Europe. The food safety body in the UK issued a similar recall for products due to the same contamination fears.

AUSVEG is the peak body for vegetable growers in Australia and has said the recall includes only imported products, and not locally grown products. The following brands and products are part of 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Market Fare Corn Kernels 1kg QLD, VIC, WA and select NSW stores. Product of Hungary (only)
  • Market Fare Mixed Vegetables 1kg QLD, NSW, ACT, WA. Packed in Belgium from imported and Belgian ingredients (only)
  • Market Fare Quick Steam Carrot Broccoli and Cauliflower 450g – National distribution
  • Market Fare Quick Steam Carrot Corn and Broccoli 450g – National distribution

Only products with country of origin of Belgium, United Kingdom or Hungary. All other countries are not affected.

While there had not been any infections reported in Australia from these products, FSANZ spokesperson, Lorraine Haase, said a number of people had died in the UK. Products should be returned to the stores of purchase for a full refund, or disposed of safely.

Anyone concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

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