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Recall due to freeze scandal expanded
As the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety reports via its consumer protection portal "lebensmittelwarnung.de", the Belgian manufacturer Greenyard Frozen Belgium has expanded the recall of frozen vegetables in Germany. Now the "Green Grocer’s vegetable mix" sold by Lidl in the 1000 gram pack is also affected. The manufacturer cannot rule out that the product contains Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, which can cause serious stomach and intestinal diseases, which are life-threatening for certain risk groups.
As the manufacturer reports, the product "Green Grocer’s vegetable mix" is identical to the "Freshona vegetable mix" that has already been recalled. According to the manufacturer, the product was renamed in the past. Both products were still offered in Lidl branches. The "Green Grocer’s Vegetable Mix" (1000 grams) and the "Freshona Vegetable Mix" (1000 grams) will be called back regardless of the expiration date. The manufacturer, Lidl and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection strongly advise against consumption.
Lidl responds immediately
Lidl also warns on the company's website of the dangerous Listeria bacteria. The affected products "Freshona Vegetable Mix" and "Green Grocer’s Vegetable Mix" were taken out of sale for reasons of preventive consumer protection, according to Lidl. The products can be returned in all Lidl branches. The purchase price would of course also be reimbursed without presentation of the receipt. According to Lidl, all other frozen items, including other products from the manufacturer, are not affected.
Europe-wide Listeria scandal with fatalities
Germany is not alone in the recall. According to the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), there have been listeriosis outbreaks in five different EU countries, which have resulted in several deaths from the dangerous bakeries in frozen foods. For example, the subsidiary Greenyard Frozen UK in England had to recall around 50 different frozen products because of a possible risk of listeriosis. Nine fatalities have previously been reported there that had previously consumed apparently contaminated sweetcorn. The English authorities expressly warn against never eating frozen vegetables raw, even if they are used in cold dishes such as salads, smoothies or dips.
The outbreak of a Hungarian production probably originated
Efsa provides a press release on the probable origin. The Listeria bacteria most likely come from a Hungarian processing plant. All freezing activities in the relevant facility have already been stopped by Hungarian authorities. Appropriate tests and examinations to determine the extent of the contamination are already underway. Efsa cannot rule out that other companies in the same trading group may also be affected.
Listeriosis is life-threatening for some people
The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes can trigger listeriosis, a gastrointestinal disease that is life-threatening for infants, toddlers, pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised people, newly operated people, people suffering from diabetes, cancer patients and AIDS patients. Inflammation of the meninges (meningitis) or blood poisoning (sepsis) can also occur in rare cases. If you experience the following symptoms after eating, you should definitely see a doctor:
- Nausea and vomiting,
- Stomach pain,
- Body aches,
- A headache.
Listeriosis bacteria can survive in the body for a long time
According to efsa, listeriosis can have a very long incubation period of up to 70 days. Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that further outbreaks could occur in the coming weeks. (vb)