Woolworths recalls savoury rice over Listeria concerns

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Woolworths' Karin Carstensen says the product is manufactured in Belgium using ingredients from Hungary.

Woolworths has recalled all Woolworths Frozen Savoury Rice Mix products amidst fears of Listeria...

South African department store chain Woolworths Holdings Ltd is recalling a frozen savoury rice mix following a worldwide product recall issued by the Hungarian Food Safety Agency due to an outbreak of listeria in Europe.

Those who purchased the recalled vegetable products are being offered refunds.

Listeria is a life-threatening illness for certain people, particularly those over the age of 60.

"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.

According to Business Insider, this is the only Woolworths product believed to be affected.

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More than 190 people died following a major listeriosis outbreak in the country since the outbreak late previous year.

"We have been alerted to the possible presence of listeria in certain frozen vegetable packs".

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.

Food authorities said the vegetables could carry listeria monocytogenes which can cause listeriosis. "Symptoms caused by this organism can be similar to flu and include high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhea".

She said: "The best way to prevent listeriosis is to practise good food hygiene". This can lead to more serious problems including meningitis (a brain infection) and septicaemia (blood poisoning).

The notice on the Food Standards Agency states that although the bacteria can be killed through cooking, sweetcorn can be eaten raw and could be a potential threat. "Thorough cooking would ensure that the product is safe".

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