Warning issued for Listeria contaminated frozen veggies

Frozen peas
Frozen peas. Photo: Jina Lee / Wikimedia Commons

Frozen vegetables that may be contaminated by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes are in circulation in the Netherlands, Dutch food and consumer product safety authority NVWA warns The contaminated vegetables already led to several deaths elsewhere in Europe, RTL Nieuws reports.

This involves frozen vegetables from producer Greenyard's factory in Hungary. According to the NVWA, companies who sell these products must remove them from the shelves and send out warnings if they have already been sold. 

The vegetables are processed in various products and sold as frozen vegetables. The NVWA is investigating how many contaminated products are in circulation in the Netherlands.

Consumers do not have the means to check for themselves whether they've bought contaminated products, a spokesperson for the NVWA said to RTL. The authority expects that several recalls will happen in the coming period. 

To keep the chance of infection as low as possible, consumers are advised to properly heat their frozen vegetables before eating them. The bacteria is killed if the product is heated to 70 degrees Celsius for at least two minutes.

Listeria poses no great risk for healthy adults, but can have serious consequences for babies and young children, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system. Since 2015 at least 47 people fell ill from eating contaminated frozen vegetables throughout Europe. Nine people eventually died. This happened in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

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