Several brands of imported frozen vegetables are being recalled from supermarkets over fears of potential contamination by listeria bacteria.
On Monday, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) issued an alert for a number of brands of vegetable products across Aldi, Woolworths and IGA stores.
Own-brand products for ALDI, including Market Fare frozen vegetables, are among those affected, as well as bags of Essentials snap frozen mixed vegetables and Bell Farms steam veggie carrot, corn and broccoli bags, which are sold at Woolworths.
Black and Gold branded frozen vegetables are also at risk and have been recalled across Australia.
Some of the recalled vegetables were imported from Europe, and the recall in Australia follows recent recalls, and fatalities, in the UK.
Belgium-based frozen food distributor Greenyard Frozen NV is conducting the recall of its products.
Acting FSANZ CEO Peter May said pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the elderly, are at the most risk of infection.
“The products affected contain a particularly dangerous strain of listeria and are being recalled as a precautionary measure to ensure consumers are protected, particularly vulnerable populations,” May said.
The peak body for Australian vegetable growers, AUSVEG, said the national recall involved imported products only, not locally grown produce.
FSANZ spokeswoman Lorraine Haase said there had not been any evidence of infections in Australia, but a number of people had died in the UK.
The European Food Safety Authority said there had been 47 cases, including nine deaths, since an outbreak in Europe in 2015 linked to the affected vegetables.
Earlier this year a listeria outbreak linked to contaminated rockmelons claimed six lives in NSW and Victoria.