UKHospitality has issued a warning following a listeria outbreak in Europe that has seen the contamination of many frozen vegetable products.
It is urging people to cook all frozen vegetables before eating, and says the products most affected are salads, smoothies and dips.
Dr Lisa Ackerley, UKHospitality food safety expert, said: “In the light of the current European listeria outbreak which may be associated with use of frozen sweetcorn in salads, the FSA has issued advice that unless frozen vegetables are labelled ‘ready-to-eat’ they should be cooked according to cooking instructions before serving hot or cold in food.
“Whilst not included In the FSA release, it stands to reason that the same would apply to frozen fruits so simple advice is to check the labels and contact your supplier if in any doubt. Listeriosis is a rare but serious foodborne illness caused by the bacterium listeria monocytogenes that can be more serious for those individuals who have weakened immune systems and also the elderly, pregnant women and infants.
“It can cause a number of symptoms ranging from mild food poisoning, flu-like symptoms but can also lead to miscarriage and death.”
An FSA warning issued earlier in the week backed up Ackerley’s comments saying “frozen sweetcorn is the likely source of an ongoing outbreak of listeriosis”.