Woolworths has recalled a frozen savoury rice product after the supplier of the product was identified as a possible source of Listeria.

Greenyard Factory in Hungary recalled all of the frozen vegetable products made at one of its plants due to a potential Listeria contamination, Woolworths followed suite as the very same factory supplies sweetcorn used in one of their savoury rice mix products.

Woolworths has said the recall is purely precautionary due to instructions received from the Hungarian Food Safety Agency.

“Listeria bacteria are easily destroyed by cooking. The Frozen Savoury Rice Mix product is uncooked and frozen and so requires cooking before consumption,” the retailer said in a statement on Tuesday.

Woolworths assured customers that other frozen products like their sweetcorn or vegetables are not believed to be affected. They claim to proactively manage and prevent all microbial contamination of food with very strict protocols.

“To verify the safety of our food products, we implement additional monitoring where we independently have our food products tested randomly,” the retailer said.

Customers who have purchased Woolworths Savoury Rice Mix are encouraged to return the product to their local store for a full refund.

Over 200 people have died in South Africa since the outbreak. It was confirmed that the Enterprise facilities in Polokwane and Germiston, which produced cold meats, was the source of the outbreak. Woolworths pulled some food items associated with the Enterprise factory when the outbreak peaked earlier this year.

The listeria bacteria can live in your system for 1-6 weeks and patients might only see the first symptoms after 3 weeks of being infected. People who are immunocompromised like HIV/Aids patients, elderly people, pregnant women and children are affected by Listeriosis.

When caught early, listeria can be cured within seven days. Those with compromised immune systems require urgent medical attention. This involves either being treated with fluids through an IV drip or a course of antibiotics.

Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting (which is sometimes preceded by diarrhea)
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • General weakness
  • Stiff neck


Picture: Twitter

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