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Frozen foods may contain Listeria poisoning bug

Some frozen vegetables, chicken, prawns should not be eaten

Report: Paul Janik

An urgent food safety alert has been issued to the whole of the UK.

Eating some frozen vegetables, chicken and prawns might infect people with the dangerous Listeria bug – only if not properly cooked as instructed on the packaging.

The EU's Food Safety Authority has traced the outbreak to a food freezing plant in Hungary.

On 29 June 2018, the Hungarian Food Chain Safety Office ordered an immediate recall of all affected products.

As a safety precaution shoppers are urged NOT to eat any of the following products. Take them back to the shop where purchased, no receipt is normally needed, for a full refund.

Brands affected include:-

  1. Aldi
  2. Basics
  3. Growers Pride
  4. Iceland
  5. Independent
  6. Lidl
  7. One Stop
  8. Oriental Express
  9. Pinguin
  10. Ross
  11. Sainsbury
  12. Tesco
  13. Waitrose

All the following products come from Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd. No other Greenyard products are known to be affected.

Aldi


  • Aldi Four Seasons Frozen Carrots, Broccoli & Supersweet Sweetcorn Steamers
  • Aldi Four Seasons Frozen Carrots, Peas & Supersweet Sweetcorn Steamers
  • Aldi Four Seasons Supersweet Sweetcorn
  • Aldi Frozen Four Seasons Mixed Vegetables

All sizes. All dates up to January 2020

Basics


  • Basics Mixed Vegetables - 1 kg, all dates to January 2020 inclusive

Growers Pride


  • Growers Pride Mixed Vegetables - 450 g, all dates to July 2021 inclusive
  • Growers Pride Mixed Vegetables - 750 g, all dates to July 2020 inclusive
  • Growers Pride Supersweet Sweetcorn - 450 g, all dates to July 2021 inclusive
  • Growers Pride Supersweet Sweetcorn - 750 g, all dates to July 2020 inclusive

Iceland


  • Iceland Frozen Mixed Vegetables - 900 g

All dates between January 2020 and June 2020 inclusive.

Independent


  • Independent Mix Vegetables

All sizes. All dates to July 2019 inclusive.

Lidl


  • Lidl Frozen Freshona Vegetable Mix - 1 kg, all dates up to January 2020 inclusive
  • Lidl Frozen Green Grocer's Supersweet Corn - 1 kg, all dates up to July (was January) 2020 inclusive
  • Lidl Green Grocer's Baby Carrots, Peas, Green Beans & Sweetcorn Steamers - 640g, all dates.
  • Lidl Green Grocer's Carrots, Broccoli & Sweetcorn - 640 g, all dates.
  • Lidl Green Grocer's Fragrant Golden Rice Steamers - 400 g, all dates up to January 2020 inclusive
  • Lidl Green Grocer's Mixed Vegetables - 1 kg, all dates up to January 2020 inclusive

One Stop


  • One Stop Frozen Sweetcorn

All sizes. All dates up to January 2020 inclusive.

Oriental Express


  • Oriental Express Chinese Chicken
  • Oriental Express Chinese Prawns
  • Oriental Express Egg Fried Rice

Size 350 g. All dates to January 2020 inclusive.

Pinguin


  • Pinguin Country Vegetable
  • Pinguin Frozen Cut Beans
  • Pinguin Frozen Golden Rice and Vegetables
  • Pinguin Frozen Sweetcorn
  • Pinguin Mixed Vegetable
  • Pinguin Supersweet Sweetcorn

All sizes. All dates to July 2020 inclusive.

Ross


  • Ross Mixed Country Vegetables - 1 kg, all dates to July 2020
  • Ross Mixed Vegetables - 450 g, all dates to July 2021 inclusive
  • Ross Mixed Vegetables - 1 kg, all dates to July 2020 inclusive
  • Ross Sweetcorn - 450 g, all dates to July 2021 inclusive
  • Ross Sweetcorn - 1 kg, all dates to July 2020 inclusive

Sainsbury


  • Sainsbury's Carrots, Broccoli & Sweetcorn Microwaveable steam bags - 540 g (4 x 135 g)
  • Sainsbury's Mixed Special Vegetables - 1 kg
  • Sainsbury's Mixed Vegetables - 1 kg
  • Sainsbury's White Rice, Broccoli, Supersweet Sweetcorn & Peas Microwaveable steam bags - 540 g (4 x 135 g)

All dates to January 2020 inclusive

Tesco


  • Tesco Broccoli Frozen Sweetcorn Peas and Spinach Steamer
  • Tesco Frozen Broccoli, Carrot and Sweetcorn Steamer
  • Tesco Frozen Every Day Value Sweetcorn
  • Tesco Frozen Growers Harvest Carrot Peas and Sweetcorn Steamer
  • Tesco Frozen Growers Harvest Mixed Vegetables
  • Tesco Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Tesco Frozen Mixed Vegetables and Peppers
  • Tesco Frozen Sweetcorn
  • Tesco Growers Harvest Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Tesco Growers Harvest Sweetcorn

All sizes. All dates to January 2020.

Waitrose


  • Waitrose Essential Supersweet Sweetcorn - 1 kg, best before (revised 20 July 2018) – August 2018, October 2019, November 2019
  • Waitrose Essential Vegetable Mix - 1 kg, all dates to December 2019 inclusive
  • Waitrose Fine Cut Vegetable Steamer - 640 g (4x160 g), all dates to January 2020 inclusive
  • Waitrose Love Life Vegetable Medley Steamers - 640 g (4x160 g), best before May 2018, July 2018, September 2018

The products listed above might be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

Symptoms caused by this organism can be similar to flu and include high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea.

Some people are more vulnerable to listeria infections, including those over 65 years of age, pregnant women and their unborn babies, babies less than one month old and people with weakened immune systems.

FSA-PRIN-35-2018 updates 1, 2, 3 & 4

The English Food Standards Agency says the affected foods are safe if thoroughly cooked to the instructions shown on the packaging. On no account should frozen vegetables be eaten raw. The only exception is when the packing is clearly marked Ready for eating.

On 3 July 2018, the EU's Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued an alert that the Listeria (listeriosis) outbreak has caused 47 cases including 9 deaths and:-

.... has been affecting Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom since 2015.

The specific type of Listeria was identified by gene sequencing. It was found at the Greenyard Frozen factory in Baja, Hungary, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This suggests the Listeria may have persisted in the processing plant despite the cleaning and disinfection or it may have been on the food taken to the plant for freezing.

Worryingly, Listeria can have a long incubation period. This means someone eating the frozen foods not properly cooked could become ill up to 70 days (10 weeks) later.