Health authorities are issuing urgent warnings after a fourth supermarket recalled a toxic batch of spinach which caused almost 100 people to fall ill.
Coles has become the most recent supermarket to recall 11 of its own brand products which contain spinach.
The supermarket giant made the announcement on Saturday evening for its Coles Own products, which were sold across supermarkets, Coles Local and Coles Express outlets as well as online.
NSW Health has issued an alert after 88 people fell sick from consuming the contaminated products.
At least 33 people have had to seek medical attention.
“NSW Health advises the recalled products are not safe to consume and people who have purchased these recalled products should throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund,” it said in a statement.
In Victoria, up to 11 people have become ill from eating the spinach, while ACT Health are also investigating multiple possible cases.
The Coles products being recalled are, 60g Baby Spinach, 120g Lettuce Spinach, Salad Family Baby Spinach 280g, Chef Blend Tender Lea Bend 15-g, Australian Salad Family Baby Leaf Blend 300g, Kitchen Green Goddess Salad 300g, Kitchen Roast Pumpkin Fetta and Walnut Salad 265g, Kitchen BLT Salad Bowl 240g, Smokey Mexican Salad 280g, Kitchen Salads Green Goddess Salad 250g, Kitchens Egg And Spinach Pots 100g.
All products have use-by dates between December 17 and December 23, 2022.
The Food Standards Australia New Zealand page said the products were being recalled “due to potential contamination with unsafe plant material”, which may cause “illness if consumed”.
“Customers must not consume this product, and anyone concerned about their health should seek medical advice. Coles is liaising with the supplier and the regulators regarding further steps,” Coles said in a statement.
The Coles recall came after Aldi made the same move earlier on Saturday, recalling 450g packets of The Fresh Salad Co-branded Fresh & Fast Stir Fry in Victorian stores.
On Saturday residents in Victoria, New South Wales, ACT and Queensland were urged to immediately throw away two products containing the toxic leaf.
The two products are the Woolworths Chicken Cobb Salad 270g (ID 218366) with use by dates of December 2 and the Woolworths Chickpea Falafel 290g (ID 218371) with use by dates of December 20 and December 22.
On Friday, NSW residents were urged to throw out spinach products bought from Costco after a number of cases of “possible food-related toxic reactions”.
NSW Health warned that Riviera Farms-branded baby spinach should not be eaten, as the product is “not safe to consume”.
Affected products were sold through Costco with an expiry date of December 16, 2022.
“Initial investigations suggest the presence of an accidental contaminant in the food product,” NSW Health said.
“NSW Health is working with the NSW Food Authority, as well as other jurisdictions, to investigate the issue further.”
Anyone who is concerned about exposure to the spinach should call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.
NSW Health urges anyone who experiences any unusual and severe symptoms to seek immediate medical attention by visiting their nearest emergency department.
Reported symptoms can be severe, including:
- Delirium or confusion
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heartbeat
- Flushed face
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth and skin