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..

DONNYBROOK STRAWBERRIES - return to the place of purchase or discard due to possible needles in the fruit. Further information below.

FSANZ FOOD RECALL REFERENCE: FSANZ 2018/70 (8 September 2018)

SUNSHINE SPROUTS is conducting a consumer level recall due to microbial (Salmonella) contamination. See the FSANZ website for product details.

Strawberry recall

SA Health has been notified that a brand of strawberries sold in South Australia is linked to the contamination which impacted the eastern states earlier this week. Queensland Health has found that Donnybrook strawberries is associated with the contamination.

The contamination relates to what appears to be sewing needles inserted in strawberries. Queensland Police are investigating the source of the contamination.

These strawberries are distributed in South Australia by Coles, Woolworths, IGA and Aldi.

SA Health has not been notified of any cases of contaminated strawberries in South Australia; however, if people have Donnybrook strawberries at home or are unsure of the brand, they should be returned to the place of purchase, or discarded.

While no other brands of strawberries have been implicated, if consumers are concerned, they should consider chopping them up before consumption.

The initial brands affected by the contamination, Berry Licious and Berry Obsession, were not distributed in South Australia.

If people come across a contaminated strawberry, they should notify SA Police. Anyone who eats a contaminated strawberry should seek medical attention.

Frozen vegetable product recalls

A precautionary recall is underway of several frozen vegetable products due to the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes. While properly cooked frozen vegetables will be safe to eat, the risk to vulnerable populations of eating uncooked or under cooked frozen vegetables is serious. If you have any product you should dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Visit Food Standards Australia for a complete list of products in this recall.

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.

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