Woolworths pulls packaged rice mix after Listeria scare

Virginia Carson
July 13, 2018

This measure was triggered by more advanced research (whole genome sequencing) by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), indicating that there was a potential contamination with a specific type of listeria, which might incur health risks in case frozen vegetables are not properly cooked before consumption. The retailer said the precautionary recall came after a worldwide recall issued by the Hungarian Food Safety Agency.

"The products affected contain a particularly risky strain of listeria and are being recalled as a precautionary measure to ensure consumers are protected, but particularly vulnerable populations", Mr May said.

As of June 4‚038 tons of recalled products have been destroyed by thermal treatment or landfill‚ according to certificates provided by the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa.

The frozen vegetable packets being recalled.

Mr May said that people who have the recalled frozen vegetable products (listed below) in their freezers should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund or dispose of them.

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It has symptoms that are similar to flu, including high temperature, muscle ache, sickness and diarrhoea.

Listeria in tainted melon killed seven people in Australia earlier this year.

Consumers who have eaten the product and feel unwell are encouraged to see a health professional.

The mix has sweetcorn from a Greenyard factory in Hungary that may have been the source of a listeria outbreak.

A number of brand names are affected by the recall, including Woolworths homebrand and IGA Black & Gold mixed vegetable and corn kernel products.

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The same strains of the bacteria had been detected in frozen vegetables produced by the same Hungarian company in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

So the Woolies uncooked savoury rice definitely had its market.

This after an ST6 strain of listeria was found at an Enterprise Foods facility in Polokwane.

Listeriosis is a bacterial disease caused by listeria.

Food scientists and food safety experts say a common misconception that it is safe to eat vegetables while they are still frozen has contributed to an Australia-wide product recall announced on Monday. This can lead to more serious problems including meningitis (a brain infection) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

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