Eight Victorians ill after eating contaminated baby spinach

Coles Baby Spinach 60g, best before 23 December (NSW only)
• Coles Lettuce Spinach 120g, best before 23 December (NSW only)
• Coles Salad Family Baby Spinach 280g, best before 23 December (Victoria only)
• Coles Chef Blend Tender Leaf Blend 150g, best before 22 December (Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory)
• Coles Australian Salad Family Baby Leaf Blend 300g with a best before date of 22 December (VIC, NSW, SA, NT)
• Coles Kitchen Green Goddess Salad 300g, best before 17-23 December (NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD)
• Coles Kitchen Roast Pumpkin Fetta & Walnut Salad 265g, best before 17-23 December (NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD)
• Coles Kitchen Chicken BLT Salad Bowl 240g, best before 17-23 December (NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD)
• Coles Kitchen Smoked Mexican Salad 280g, best before 17-23 December (NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD)
• Coles Kitchen Salads Green Goddess Salad 250g, best before 17-23 December (NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD)
• Coles Kitchens Egg And Spinach Pots 100g, best before 17-23 December (NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD)

“No other Coles prepackaged spinach or salad products are affected by this recall,” the company said in a statement.

The recall is believed to be related to Riviera Farms baby spinach.

Riviera Farms said the Victorian-grown spinach appeared to be “contaminated with a weed that has health consequences if consumed”.

“Riviera Farms notified authorities immediately after receiving a warning from one of our retailers and we will continue to work closely with health and food regulators as the investigation continues,” the company said In a statement posted on its website.

In an update on Saturday, Riviera Farms said it had contacted 20 customers advising them to “recall potentially contaminated spinach products from shelves and advise their own customers to do the same”.

“Riviera Farms can confirm that on Thursday and Friday we contacted all 20 baby spinach customers either by phone, in writing or both,” it said.

“Riviera Farms’ only direct major retail customer is Costco.”

Dr Danny Csutoros, one of Victoria’s acting deputy chief health officers, said the baby spinach was not safe to eat and should be discarded, as symptoms appeared within hours of eating the affected salad leaves.

“Initial investigations indicate that the affected baby spinach was accidentally contaminated,” he said. “Victoria Health is working closely with other jurisdictions to investigate further.”

As of Friday, 47 people in NSW had developed symptoms after eating spinach, and at least 17 required medical help, according to NSW Health.

Genevieve Adamo from the NSW Poisons Information Center said more people were expected to develop symptoms.

“There are many people with mild symptoms such as flushing, dry mouth, dizziness and feeling unwell, but there are also some people with more serious symptoms such as rapid heart rate or fever, hallucinations and confusion, or even confusion,” Adamo told ET. channel nine Nowadays programme.


The weed is a small leaf that “looks very similar to baby spinach, but it contains other compounds that make people sick,” Adamo said.

“It’s not something that you can spray and wash off. It’s the plant matter in the spinach, so all batches need to be discarded,” she says.

Health authorities said anyone concerned about exposure to contaminated spinach products should contact the Victorian Poisons Information Center on 13 11 26, or those with severe symptoms should call 30.

with james lemmon and sally rosethorne

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