Food recalls

A food recall is undertaken to remove food from distribution and sale that may pose a health or safety risk to consumers . Food recalls may be conducted at trade or consumer level depending upon the extent an implicated food has travelled through the food chain.

Food recalls are conducted by a food business when:

  • a food safety issue has been identified by the business
  • a particular food is found to be unsafe
  • food is labelled in a manner that may cause harm to a consumer.

Food recalls can be voluntarily initiated by a food business or enforced by SA Health’s Food Safety and Nutrition Branch in response to public health risks.

SA Sprouts alfalfa sprout products recall

SA Health is advising anyone who has purchased the recalled SA Sprouts alfalfa sprouts products to return them to the place of purchase for a refund, or throw them away.

For further information, see the FAQs below or visit Food Standards SA Sprouts.

Consumer frequently asked questions

What particular brand and types of sprouts are affected?

SA Sprouts (Mile End) have been identified as the source of the outbreak and these products have been recalled:

  • Alfalfa (125g and 200g tubs, 1kg bags)
  • Green alfalfa (125g tubs)
  • Alfalfa and radish (125g tubs)
  • Alfalfa and onion (125g tubs)
  • Alfalfa and mustard (125g tubs)
  • Alfalfa and Chinese cabbage (125g tubs)
  • Alfalfa and garlic (125g tubs)
  • Salad mix (175g tubs)
  • Gourmet sprouts (100g trio pack with alfalfa, snow pea, small sprouted bean)

Consumers are asked to check their fridges for any of these SA Sprouts (Mile End) products and dispose of them or return them to where they were purchased.

What type of sprouts are you talking about?

Only alfalfa and mixed sprout varieties containing alfalfa sprouts are affected. Mung bean sprouts, snow pea sprouts, or mixed varieties without alfalfa sprouts are not affected. Brussel sprouts are also not affected.

Why have sprouts caused an outbreak in SA again?

Many types of raw, ready to eat horticulture products are considered high risk including seeded sprouts such as alfalfa sprouts, onion sprouts, mustard sprouts, garlic sprouts, radish sprouts, Chinese cabbage sprouts and mung bean sprouts. Sprouts have caused large outbreaks both here in SA and internationally.

SA Health always recommends that sprouts should not be consumed by immunocompromised people because they are such a potentially risky food.

What do you mean by a “potentially risky food”?

A potentially risky food is a food that always carries some risk of contamination hence the advice about not serving to immunocompromised people. It does not mean that this type of food is always contaminated but has a higher chance of contamination.

What do you mean by “immunocompromised people”?

People who may have a lower immune system that may not protect them from small amounts of bacteria e.g. elderly people, pregnant women, very young children, diabetics, people with cancer or suppressed immune systems.

Can I cook them to make them safe?

No - alfalfa sprouts are not robust enough to withstand cooking temperatures.

Is washing raw alfalfa sprouts enough to remove the Salmonella?

No - washing will not be enough to remove the Salmonella.

I still want to eat them raw so is there anything I can do to help minimise the risk?

The risk of food poisoning from sprouts is always a possibility, but it can be reduced by storing them in a fridge (5oC or less) and using them before the Use By Date on the packet (if present). 

Are there any of the affected alfalfa sprouts left that I shouldn’t purchase from supermarkets or grocers?

All of the affected product from SA Sprouts (Mile End) should have been removed from supermarkets and grocers as part of the recall. If you are unsure, check with the manager at the supermarket or grocer.

What about cafes and restaurants, is it ok to eat sprouts served there?

Yes, any alfalfa sprouts served at cafes and restaurants should be from unaffected sprout producers. If you are unsure, check with the manager to confirm they were aware of the recall.

Al Mina Mediterranean Patisserie recall

SA Health is advising South Australian consumers and food businesses to return Al Mina Mediterranean Patisserie products to the place of purchase or throw them out, as they contain multiple undeclared allergens.

Why has a warning about consuming Al Mina products been issued?

SA Health received a complaint about an allergenic reaction to a product where some allergenic ingredients were not listed.

Subsequent investigations found significant allergen labelling issues, with multiple undeclared allergens being present in the product including almonds, soybean, wheat and sesame seeds.

Al Mina products are sold at retail outlets including supermarkets and specialty stores, to food service including cafes and restaurants and via their own retail store.

SA Health takes the presence of undeclared allergens very seriously as they can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis and death.

Which Al Mina products have been recalled?

The recall includes the following products;

  • Almond Baklava Triangle 250g
  • Walnut Baklava Triangle 250g
  • 5 Piece Baklava Mix 250g
  • Cashew Baklava Triangle 250g
  • Four Finger Baklava 200g
  • Mixed Baklava 450g;
  • Mina Baci Bites 200g
  • Chocolate Walnut Bites 200g
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Bites 200g
  • Chocolate Macadamia Bites 200g
  • Chocolate Almond Bites 200g

What action has been taken?

SA Health is requiring a mandatory recall to ensure all products have been removed from the marketplace. Al Mina products will not be back on the market until the labelling is fixed.

I have an allergy, what should I do?

If you have purchased these Al Mina products and have allergies to almonds, soybean, wheat or sesame seeds, please return the product to the place of purchase for refund or throw it out.

SA Health recommends that anyone with an allergy carefully read packaging labels and when eating out, always ask whether a menu item contains certain allergens.

In Australia, recalls due to undeclared allergens have increased since 2013 and have consistently been the main reason for recall.   

I don’t have an allergy. Is the product is ok to eat?

The product is safe to consume by anyone who does not have an allergy to almond, soybean, wheat and sesame seeds.

Further information

Further information about allergens is available on the FSANZ website:

Food Standards Allergies

Food Standards Allergen Labelling

Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate recall

Coles has removed Creative Gourmet frozen pomegranate products from store freezers following a NSW Health warning linking a hepatitis A outbreak to the imported products. For more information on this recall visit the Food Standards website. 

Washed rind cheeses

More information about Washed Rind Cheese Listeria recall.

Rockmelon update

South Australians who are not vulnerable or at risk of Listeriosis can resume consuming rockmelons from South Australian suppliers after all contaminated melons were removed from the local supply chain.

On 1 March 2018 a warning was issued by SA Health following a national outbreak of Listeria linked to contaminated rockmelon.

To date there have been no recorded cases of Listeria infection in South Australia linked to the national outbreak.

SA Health has been working with all known local suppliers of the New South Wales rockmelons linked to the Listeria outbreak, and are confident the contaminated melons have been removed from the South Australian supply chain.

Listeria is found widely in the environment and rarely causes serious illness in the general population, however for vulnerable people it can be extremely serious or even life threatening. This group includes pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborn babies, people aged over 70, people of all ages with immune systems weakened by disease or illness, and anyone on medication that can suppress the immune system.

SA Health reminds all people at risk of Listeriosis to avoid the following foods: 

  • Pre-cut fruit such as rockmelons
  • Cold salads (fruit and vegetables) that are pre-packed or sold from salad bars and smorgasbords, such as coleslaw and fresh fruit salad
  • Pre-cooked cold chicken, cold meats, pâté
  • Raw seafood, uncooked smoked seafood (e.g. smoked salmon)
  • Soft cheeses (e.g. brie, camembert, ricotta or blue-vein), and soft serve ice cream
  • Unpasteurised milk or milk products
  • Sprouted seeds or raw mushrooms.

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