Toxic spinach: Woolworths, Costco products recalled after hallucinations, fever reported

A toxic batch of spinach has now been identified in two products sold in Woolworths as the number of people who have bought the product has risen to nearly 50.

Authorities are now warning residents of Victoria, New South Wales, ACT and Queensland to immediately throw out two products containing the poisonous leaf.

The two products are:

  • Woolworths Chicken Cobb Salad 270g (ID 218366) with an expiry date of December 20th
  • Woolworths Chickpea Falafel 290g (ID 218371) with an expiry date of December 20th and December 22nd

To date, as part of the ongoing investigation, there are 47 people in NSW who have reported symptoms after eating baby spinach.

More than a third of these (at least 17) have consulted a doctor.

It comes after NSW residents were urged to throw out spinach products bought at Costco following a spate of cases of “possible foodborne toxic reactions”.

NSW Health warned that Riviera Farms brand baby spinach should not be eaten as the product is “unsafe to consume”.

There were nine people from four independent households across Sydney who required medical treatment after developing intoxication after consuming the product.

dr Darren Roberts of the NSW Poisons Information Center told the Sydney Morning Herald those affected were “quite ill”.

“No one died so we’re very happy with that and hope it stays that way, but these people are pretty sick…to the point of severe hallucinations where they’re seeing things that aren’t there,” he said.

Affected products were sold through Costco with an expiration date of December 16, 2022.

“Initial investigations suggest the presence of an adventitious contaminant in the food product,” NSW Health said.

“NSW Health is working with the NSW Food Authority as well as other jurisdictions to further investigate the issue.”

Anyone concerned about coming into contact with spinach should call the Poison Control Center on 13 11 26.

NSW Health urges anyone experiencing unusual and severe symptoms to seek immediate medical attention by going to the nearest emergency department.

Reported symptoms can be severe, including:

  • delirium or confusion
  • hallucinations
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Blushed face
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Fever

Originally released as Woolworths recalls two products containing poisonous spinach

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