Deadly bacteria fears: Supermarkets recall frozen vegetables

The affected products

The affected products

Woolworths said that recall was a precaution after a global recall was issued by the Hungarian Food Safety Agency.

In late June, the Hungarian Food Chain Safety Office banned the marketing of all frozen vegetable and frozen mixed vegetable products made by the plant from August 2016 to June 2018, said the EFSA.

Around 50 products have been withdrawn from sale by Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd as a precaution, amid fears they may contain listeria monocytogenes which can cause sickness and diarrhoea.

"Listeria bacteria are easily destroyed by cooking".

Belgium-based frozen food distributor Greenyard Frozen NV is conducting the recall of its products and United Kingdom supermarkets - Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose - have also removed various frozen vegetable products from their shelves due to concerns about possible listeria contamination.

The factory supplies sweetcorn used in Woolworths' rice mix.

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The outbreak is extremely serious, with nine suspected deaths from listeria bacteria in frozen vegetables reported so far across Europe. "The Frozen Savoury Rice Mix product is uncooked and frozen and so requires cooking before consumption", the retailer said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

The listeria warning comes after a similar outbreak earlier this year affecting Australian rockmelons.

The outbreak was linked to Enterprise facilities in Polokwane and Germiston which produced cold meats, including Woolworths' beloved Salami sticks.

The food chain says this is a voluntary recall and customers will receive a full refund.

Woolworths said it proactively manages and prevents microbial contamination of food, and has very strict protocols in place.

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