Salmonella Outbreak Forces Urgent Lettuce Recall

Pre-packaged lettuce and salad products are being urgently recalled after being linked to a recent salmonella outbreak that hospitalised two people.
February 6, 2016

Pre-packaged lettuce and salad products sold at supermarkets and grocers across the country are being urgently recalled after being linked to a salmonella outbreak 
that has hospitalised two people.

According to the Victorian Department of Health, more than 28 people have so far been sickened by the outbreak, which reportedly stemmed from lettuce varieties from the Tripod Farmers company in Victoria.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has issued a notice about the recalls, saying "Tripod Farmers has recalled the following products from Coles, Bi-Lo (VIC, NSW, SA, NT & ACT), Woolworths (ACT, VIC & NSW) and trade outlets in NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, NT and ACT due to microbial (salmonella) contamination."

More than 20 different brands of salads and lettuce sold at Woolworths, Coles, and Bi-Lo supermarkets, as well as various greengrocers, have already been affected by the recall.

Recalled Products

The salad products that have so far been included in the recall are:

  • Coles Spinach 60gm
  • Coles Rocket 60gm
  • Coles Rocket 120gm
  • Coles Spinach and Rocket 120gm
  • Coles Spinach 120gm
  • Coles 4Leaf 120gm
  • Coles 4Leaf 200gm
  • Woolworths Spinach 100gm
  • Woolworths Rocket 100gm
  • Woolworths Salad Mix 100gm
  • Wash N Toss Watercress 100gm
  • Wash N Toss Sorrell 50gm
  • Wash N Toss Baby Cos 100gm
  • Wash N Toss Spinach 100gm
  • Wash N Toss Salad Mix 100gm
  • Wash N Toss Rocket 100gm
  • Wash N Toss Kale 100gm
  • SupaSalad 180gm
  • SupaSalad Green Coral 180gm
  • SupaSalad Supamix 1kg
  • SupaSalad Spinach 1kg
  • SupaSalad Rocket 1kg
  • SupaSalad Baby Cos 1kg
  • SupaSalad Spinach 180kg

What Caused the Outbreak?

Although the reason for the outbreak has not yet been determined, news.com.au spoke to Lydia Buchtmann from the Australian Food Safety Information Council, who said there are likely three reasons.

“For salad to have the bacteria, the water used during growing might’ve been contaminated,” she said. “Another reason is the water in the washing process could be contaminated. There is also the possibility that someone who has handled the food could have had salmonella.”

“Salmonella is an unusual bacteria, as it can take 72 hours or even longer to come out through symptoms.”

“Washing the salad with your own water isn’t enough to get rid of the bacteria. Although it might get rid of some traces — it’s not worth it.”

What To Do If You Think You Might Be Affected

Shoppers who believe they could have purchased these products are advised to discard them immediately. Also, they can contact the store they bought them from for a full refund.

If you suspect that you could be suffering from food poisoning you are recommended to seek medical advice.