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:-
All the following products come from Greenyard Frozen UK Ltd. No other Greenyard products are known to be affected.
All sizes. All dates up to January 2020
All dates between January 2020 and June 2020 inclusive.
All sizes. All dates to July 2019 inclusive.
All sizes. All dates up to January 2020 inclusive.
Size 350 g. All dates to January 2020 inclusive.
All sizes. All dates to July 2020 inclusive.
All dates to January 2020 inclusive
All sizes. All dates to January 2020.
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.
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.