Consumers told to toss contaminated salad mix

CONSUMERS are being warned against eating a selection of pre-packed salad products grown and distributed by the Victorian-based company Tripod Farmers following confirmation of more than 50 cases of salmonella infection.

Tripod Farmers has a facility in Boisdale, and has suspended some of its farming and processing operations while the investigation is being carried out and until the problem has been fully identified and fixed.

The products being recalled are sold through Coles and Woolworths supermarkets and includes brands such as Coles 4 Leaf Mix, Woolworths salad mix, SupaSalad Supamix, Woolworths Gourmet mix 100g, Supa Salad ALH, 1kg, Clear Film Blend, Clear Film Spinach and Clear Film Cos and Wash N Toss salad mix.

The products have best before dates leading up to and including February 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services senior medical advisor Dr Finn Romanes said people with these products should either return them to the place of purchase or discard them.

“Tests of three products from two batches have also tested positive for Salmonella anatum bacterium,” he said.

Tripod Farmers is issuing a national voluntary product recall for these products and there will be continuing testing and monitoring of all products from the company.

An inspection of premises has been undertaken and a full and thorough clean-up has been carried out.

In a media statement, Tripod Farmers said it was expecting more test results early this week in its search to determine and fix the cause of salmonella contamination.

The company’s managing director, Frank Ruffo, said Tripod Farmers was continuing to work closely with health authorities to determine the cause and extent of the problem, and with its customers to manage an effective recall.

Salmonellosis is a form of gastroenteritis caused by the germ (bacterium) Salmonella and can affect anyone.

The severity of symptoms depends on the number of bacteria ingested, age and general health.

The elderly, those with other medical conditions (such as weakened immune systems) or people who are malnourished are more prone to the illness.

Symptoms of salmonellosis usually occur between six and 72 hours after the bacteria is ingested.

The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, which may contain blood or mucous, fever, headache, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and dehydration.

In rare cases, septicaemia (local infection) may develop as a complication of salmonellosis.