Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Supermarkets recall frozen vegetables over listeria fears

Supermarkets recall frozen vegetables over listeria fears

It is feared the frozen vegetables could contain listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis, a rare illness responsible for the death of two people in the United Kingdom a year ago.

Stores in the Kesko and S Group chains in Finland pulled several frozen products from their shelves on Friday, while the Lidl chain of food stores did the same the previous day.

The affected batches include items like bags of mixed vegetables; steam bags containing carrot, broccoli and sweetcorn'; resealable bags of sweetcorn; and supersweet sweetcorn.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has issued an urgent recall on 18 products sold in Ireland and the UK.

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Greenyard Frozen UK, based in King's Lynn, Norfolk, has been approached for comment.

The foods have been recalled "as a precautionary step". Kesko advises customers not to use the product and return the bags to any of its K or Kespro stores for a full refund.

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According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) 11 people in the United Kingdom have been affected by listeriosis since 2015, including two people who died a year ago.

Initially the source of the bacteria was thought to be sweetcorn, but EFSA said it was possible that other vegetables were also contaminated.

An S Group press release published yesterday tells customers who might be concerned about having already eaten the product that cooking the vegetables kills the bacteria, so a risk applies only if the product was consumed without first heating it.

Since 2015, there have been 47 reported cases, nine of which were fatal.

The same strain of listeria was detected in frozen vegetables produced by a Hungarian company in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the EFSA said. This suggests strains of the bug have persisted in the factory despite cleaning and disinfection procedures being carried out.

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