Unwashed spinach taken off shelves in supermarkets over Listeria fears

Products in Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Supervalu and Dunnes all impacted by batch recall

 

Bags of unwashed spinach leaves have been recalled from all the major supermarket chains over the possible presence of a potentially lethal bacteria.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has issued a recall notice following the detection of Listeria monocytogenes.

The bacterium can cause listeriosis, an infection is most likely to affect pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.

The products identified include Oaklands spinach from Lidl, Irish Baby Spinach Leaves from Aldi, Fresh Ready to Wash Spinach Leaves from Dunnes, McCormack’s Loose and Lively Spinach Leaves from Tesco or other sources, Dunnes Fresh Ready to Wash Mixed Leaves and Egan’s Mixed Leaves from Aldi.

Only products with a code of 260 or 261 are implicated.

Retailers are advising customers to dispose of the packs. The FSAI said some spinach products distributed to caterers are also implicated.

According to the FSAI, Listeria monocytogenes is is of major concern because of its ubiquitous nature, its ability to survive and grow at low temperatures, ie typical refrigeration temperature, the severity of the disease it causes and the high fatality rate.

It is widely distributed in the environment and has been isolated from a variety of habitats including soil, vegetation, silage, sewage, water, and faeces of healthy animals and humans.

It is frequently present in foods of animal and plant origin and can become endemic in food processing environments.