Australians have been urged to discard or return bags of frozen vegetables by a number of brands because they may be contaminated by the bacteria listeria, Food Standards Australia New Zealand has announced.

A Belgium-based frozen-food distributor called Greenyard Frozen NV has issued a recall of a number of its products, which were sold at supermarkets across the country including Woolworths, IGA, ALDI and Campbells, as well as independent grocery stores.

“Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund,” Food Standards Australia New Zealand said on its website.

In the past few days, UK supermarkets have also recalled various frozen vegetable products because of the contamination, which has killed several people in the UK.

FSANZ spokeswoman Lorraine Haase said there had not been any evidence of infections in Australia, the ABC reports.

Listeria starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and occasionally other symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea. These symptoms can take up to a few weeks to appear.

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Listeria hit Australian headlines earlier this year when an outbreak responsible for several deaths was connected to a rockmelon grower in the Riverina region in New South Wales. At the time, NSW Health’s communicable diseases director Dr Vicky Sheppeard said Listeria doesn’t cause illness in most people but can be extremely harmful to those in high-risk groups.

“The elderly, pregnant or those with underlying health conditions, which lead to a weakened immune system, form part of this group,” she said. Infection during pregnancy, for example, can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or infection of the newborn.

FROZEN VEGETABLES BEING RECALLED:

Woolworths
Essentials snap-frozen mixed vegetable one kilogram: Carrots, peas, corn, green beans and potatoes. National distribution. Best Before March 19, 2020 to April 24, 2020.
Bell Farms Steam Veggie Carrot Corn and Broccoli three-pack 450 gram. National distribution. All stock.

IGA
Black & Gold Corn Kernels 500 gram. National distribution. Best before all dates.
Black & Gold Mixed Vegetables one kilogram: carrots, peas, beans and corn. National distribution. Best before all dates.

Aldi
Market Fare Peas, Carrots and Super Sweet Corn one kilogram. National distribution.
Market Fare Corn Kernels one kilogram. QLD, VIC, WA, and select NSW stores. Product of Hungary (only).
Market Fare Mixed Vegetables one kilogram QLD, NSW, ACT, WA. Packed in Belgium from Imported and Belgian Ingredients (only).
Market Fare Quick Steam Carrot Broccoli and Cauliflower 450 gram. National distribution.
Market Fare Quick Steam Carrot Corn and Broccoli 450 gram. National distribution.
Only products with country of origin of Belgium, United Kingdom or Hungary, all other countries not affected.

foodstandards.gov.au.