Category Archives: foodborne disease

South Africa – Woolworth recalls savoury rice after Listeria outbreak in Europe

Times Live

Woolworths is recalling a frozen savoury rice product as a precaution after a listeria outbreak in Europe.

Woolworths Frozen Savoury Rice‚ which is sourced from Belgium‚ contains frozen sweetcorn from the Greenyard Factory in Hungary – which has been implicated as a potential source of the outbreak.


“Listeria bacteria are easily destroyed by cooking. The Frozen Savoury Rice Mix product is uncooked and frozen and so requires cooking before consumption. Thorough cooking ensures that the product is safe. We are voluntarily recalling this product as a precautionary measure‚ on the global instruction of the Hungarian Food Safety Agency‚” the retailer said in a statement announcing the recall. “None of our other frozen sweetcorn or vegetable products are affected.”

New Zealand – Campylobacter cases increase in Nelson Marlborough

Outbreak News Today 


Officials with Nelson Marlborough Health are reporting an increase in campylobacteriosis cases during the past month. 24 cases have been notified to the Medical Officer of Health in the past four weeks, compared to a range of 6-16 cases in the same period over the previous five years.

A number of known risk factors for campylobacteriosis have been identified in the people affected. These are: drinking raw (unpasteurised) milk or untreated water, and contact with animals and/or nappies (diapers).

A single source cause has yet to be found and investigations are ongoing.

New Zealand – Various frozen vegetable products 10 July 2018 (Pinguin product added 11 July 2018): Greenyard Group is recalling all batches of Bell Farms brand Steam Veggies carrot, corn, and broccoli and Pinguin brand 4 mixed vegetables due to the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes.


Product identification

Product type Frozen vegetables
Name of product
  • Bell Farms brand Steam Veggies carrot, corn, and broccoli (450g)
  • Pinguin brand 4 mixed vegetables (1kg, appears as 1,000g)
Batch marking All batches
Date marking All dates
Package size and description Bell Farms brand Steam Veggies carrot, corn, and broccoli are sold frozen in a 450g plastic bag.

Pinguin brand 4 mixed vegetables are sold frozen in a 1kg plastic bag (appears as 1,000g)

Distribution The product is imported from Belgium and the UK

Bell Farms brand Steam Veggies carrot, corn, and broccoli is sold in Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice supermarkets throughout New Zealand.

Europe – Listeria monocytogenes: update on foodborne outbreak

EFSA kswfooworld

Frozen corn and possibly other frozen vegetables are the likely source of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has been affecting Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom since 2015.

Experts used whole genome sequencing to identify the food source, which initially was thought to be limited to frozen corn. As of 8 June 2018, 47 cases including nine deaths had been reported.

The same strains of L. monocytogenes have been detected in frozen vegetables produced by the same Hungarian company in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This suggests that the strains have persisted in the processing plant despite the cleaning and disinfection procedures that were carried out.

The available information confirms the contamination at the Hungarian plant. However, further investigations, including thorough sampling and testing, are needed to identify the exact points of environmental contamination at the Hungarian plant. The same recommendation applies to other companies belonging to the same commercial group if environmental contamination is detected.

On 29 June 2018, the Hungarian Food Chain Safety Office banned the marketing of all frozen vegetable and frozen mixed vegetable products produced by the affected plant between August 2016 and June 2018, and ordered their immediate withdrawal and recall. This last measure is likely to significantly reduce the risk of human infections and contain the outbreak. All freezing activity at the plant has been stopped.

New cases could still emerge due to the long incubation period of listeriosis (up to 70 days); the long shelf-life of frozen corn products; and the consumption of frozen corn bought before the recalls and eaten without being cooked properly.

To reduce the risk of infection, consumers should thoroughly cook non ready-to-eat frozen vegetables, even though these products are commonly consumed without cooking (e.g. in salads and smoothies). This applies especially to consumers at highest risk of contracting listeriosis – such as the elderly, pregnant women, new-borns and adults with weakened immune systems.

Technical Report

Multi-country outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes serogroup IVb, multi-locus sequence type 6, infections linked to frozen corn and possibly to other frozen vegetables – first update


Australia – 7 dead, 1 miscarriage: New control measures to be set up on Australian rockmelon farms

Barf Blog

In April, thousands of rockmelons were left to rot in paddocks near Geraldton on the Western Australian coast, record low prices and lost markets meant they were simply not worth picking.

Grower Carol Metcalf said the rows of rotting melons were the result of the listeria outbreak on a rockmelon farm more than 3,500 kilometres away in New South Wales.

Under a new plan released this week, all rockmelon farms in Australia will be inspected and work will be undertaken on each individual farm to ensure that the highest standards are implemented and maintained.

At the time of the outbreak on February this year, the NSW Food Authority speculated that the most likely cause of the listeria outbreak was contaminated soil possibly not being properly washed off the skin of the fruit.

In addition it was thought that a weather event may have increased the listeria bacteria on the product.

But the formal investigation into the cause of the outbreak has not been completed by the NSW Food Authority and therefore the official report on the cause has still not been released.


RASFF Alert – Foodborne Outbreak – Infant Formula

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-foodborne outbreak suspected to be caused by infant milk formula from Spain in France

India – 200 suffer food poisoning

The Hindu

Over 200 people suffered food poisoning allegedly after a meal at the engagement ceremony of a couple, in Appannanahalli in Gubbi taluk of Tumakuru district on Friday.The engagement ceremony was held at the house of Umesh. Around 200 friends and relatives of the bride’s family, and 20 of the bridegroom’s family from Arasikere taluk of Hassan district, complained of stomach ache and vomiting after the meal.

They were immediately admitted to Gubbi taluk hospital for treatment.

Bindumadhava, medical officer, Gubbi taluk hospital, said all of them are out of danger.