MAFFF recalls frozen vegetables over listeria fears

Vakai ki he ngata'anga 'o e lea 'Ingilisi' 'oku 'i ai ha fakamatala faka-Tonga

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Food and Fisheries has recalled bags of frozen vegetables over fears they could contain a deadly bacteria.

The six sweetcorn-based products had been imported from the United Kingdom, Belgium and Hungary and were on sale at retailed and wholesale shops in Tonga.

MAFFF said the veg may contain listeria monocytogenes which can cause listeriosis, a rare illness which can cause fever and muscle aches, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal.

The Ministry’s spokesperson Sione Foliaki said: “I wish to inform and to provide your office with this urgent national notification and information of the MAFFF Food safety and compliance actions to starting today (12 July 2018), and in initiating a national food recall of the lists imported frozen vegetable products:

  1. Bell Farms Steam Veggies Carrot and Broccolli 3pk-450g – national distribution;
  2. Pinquin brand 4 mixed vegetables 1,000g – national distribution;
  3. Black & Gold Corn Kernels 500g – national distribution;
  4. Black & Gold Mixed Vegetables 1kg: Carrots, Peas, Beans, & Corn –  national distribution;
  5. Market Fare Peas, Carrots and Super Sweet Corn 1kg –  national distribution;
  6. Market Fare Mixed Vegetables 1kg – possibly  national distribution;

“Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice (Ministry of Health); and should return the products to the place of purchase, and contact the Food division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forests and Fisheries @ telephone 23-038.”

Last week, a major supermarket supplier, Greenyard Frozen in the UK withdrew 43 sweetcorn-based products.

UK Food Standards Agency said the veg may contain listeria monocytogenes which can cause listeriosis, a rare illness responsible for the death of two people in the UK last year.

What is listeria?

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Listeria monocytogenes bacteriaSCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
  • The listeria bacteria can develop into the rare but serious listeriosis illness
  • It has symptoms that are similar to flu, including high temperature, muscle ache, sickness and diarrhoea
  • It can be more serious for people with weakened immune systems and also the elderly, pregnant women and infants

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