Man dies as listeria outbreak recalls frozen food

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But the patient's death earlier this year means authorities will never know if they ate the suspect vegies.

Listeria is a bacterium that is naturally found in the environment.

Yes, even the Waitrose Essential Supersweet Sweetcorn is not immune from being called back in, with this outbreak revealing that the expensive variety is therefore bagged up in the same factory that produces Lidl Frozen Green Grocer Supersweet Corn, also recalled.

"Following a worldwide product recall issued by the Hungarian Food Safety Agency, and purely as a precautionary measure, we are recalling our Woolworths Frozen Savoury Rice Mix product", the company reportedly said.

Consumers are urged not to eat the products and to return to the place of purchase for a refund.

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The most common way of getting infected is through ready-made foods, but you can also catch listeriosis from someone else who has it; for example, if you eat food they've handled when they haven't washed their hands.

About 20 per cent of frozen vegetables sold in Australia are from overseas.

Listeria can cause a life threatening infection, with symptoms similar to the flu including a high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea.

But the ministry has not yet ruled out whether the products on sale in New Zealand have come from the same suppliers as those affected by the Australian recall.

The number of reported cases per week has decreased since implicated products were recalled in March 2018.

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The same strains of the bacteria had been detected in frozen vegetables produced by the same Hungarian company in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Woolies said other frozen sweetcorn or vegetable products were unaffected.

So the Woolies uncooked savoury rice definitely had its market. This can lead to more serious problems including meningitis (a brain infection) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

"The products affected contain a particularly unsafe strain of listeria and are being recalled as a precautionary measure to ensure consumers are protected, but particularly vulnerable populations", May said.

"To verify the safety of our food products, we implement additional monitoring where we independently have our food products tested randomly", the store said, adding the testing included listeria checks.

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