South African department store chain Woolworths Holdings Ltd is recalling a frozen savoury rice mix following a worldwide product recall issued by the Hungarian Food Safety Agency due to an outbreak of listeria in Europe.
- Only ALDI products with country of origin of Belgium, United Kingdom or Hungary, all other countries not affected.
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.
"To verify the safety of our food products, we implement additional monitoring where we independently have our food products tested randomly", the store said, adding the testing included listeria checks. It is particularly unsafe for pregnant women and their unborn babies, and can cause death in people with compromised immune systems.
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"The same strains of L. monocytogenes have been detected in frozen vegetables produced by the same Hungarian company in 2016, 2017 and 2018".
The recalled vegies were sold at IGA, Aldi and Woolworths and include the brands Black and Gold, Bell Farms, Market Fare and Essentials. Symptoms are similar to the flu and include a high fever, chills, feeling or being sick, and diarrhoea.
"This suggests that the strains have persisted in the processing plant despite the cleaning and disinfection procedures that were carried out", according to the EFSA.
So the Woolies uncooked savoury rice definitely had its market. However, listeria can also be found in ready to eat foods that have been contaminated during processing.
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The listeria bacteria can develop into the rare but serious listeriosis illness. It can lead to sepsis and meningitis (infection and inflammation of membranes surrounding the brain). The company operates in 27 countries.
The NSW Government's Food Authority confirmed the recall in a statement this afternoon.
"Along with the FSA, FSS (Food Standards Scotland) and HPS (Health Protection Scotland), we are reminding people that most frozen vegetables, including sweetcorn, need to be cooked before eating".
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