Category Archives: Foodborne Illness

RASFF Alert – Multi Country Outbreak – Listeria in Frozen Sweetcorn Products

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-withdrawal from the market of frozen corn from Hungary in relation to a multi-country foodborne outbreak in Denmark

RASFF-withdrawal from the market of frozen vegetables from Belgium in relation to a multi-country foodborne outbreak in Germany

RASFF-withdrawal from the market of frozen spinach from Hungary in relation to a multi-country foodborne outbreak in Croatia

RASFF-withdrawal from the market of frozen vegetables from United Kingdom in relation to a multi-country foodborne outbreak in the UK

RASFF-withdrawal from the market of frozen vegetables from Poland in relation to a multi-country foodborne outbreak in Poland

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.

Australia – Frozen vegetables pulled from shelves in Woolworths, ALDI, IGA amid Listeria monocytogenes fears


Fears over the deadly listeria strain of bacteria have sparked a recall of popular frozen vegetable products from supermarket shelves across Australia.

Belgium-based company Greenyard Frozen Belgium NV has recalled the frozen vegetables – which include frozen corn, carrot, broccoli and mixed vegetable bags – from Woolworths, IGA and ALDI stores.

The recall comes after a number of listeria deaths in Europe in the past three years.

The European Food Safety Authority said there had been nine deaths among 47 cases of listeria since an outbreak in 2015, the ABC reported.

USA – Two E. coli Outbreaks in Tennessee Sicken 15

Food Poison Journal

The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is concluding its investigation into a cluster of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157 infections. Fifteen confirmed cases of E. coli O157 were reported to KCHD recently. All cases were among children, nine were hospitalized and seven developed a complication of the infection called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Of the children who were hospitalized, one remains in fair condition at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Lab results from the Tennessee Department of Health have confirmed two different strains of E. coli O157 caused the children to become ill.


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