‘Five-a-day’ soup sold by Asda and Waitrose is pulled from shelves

‘Five-a-day’ soup sold by Asda and Waitrose is pulled from shelves over fears it could contain deadly listeria bacteria

  • Soups have been recalled as they could contain listeria monocytogenes
  • The Foods Standards Agency has recalled three varieties of the product 
  • Consumers have been advised to return the products and not to eat them 

A ‘five-a-day soup’ sold by UK retailers such as Asda and Waitrose has been pulled from shelves over fears it could contain listeria.

The Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has said that three of the Soupologie soups could contain listeria monocytogenes.

If ingested those affected by the bacteria can develop symptoms such as sickness and diarrhoea, chills, muscle ache and symptoms similar to that of flu.

But in high-risk individuals, it can spread, leading to life-threatening complications including sepsis. 

The three soups which have been recalled by the Food Standard’s Agency include Broccoli Pea and Basil (left), Classic Tomato with carrot and red pepper (centre) and Pea and Leek (right)

The products which have been recalled are all 600g products and include the classic tomato soup with carrot and red pepper (batch code 03969, best before 1 October 2019), which is the five-a-day soup.

Also on the recall list is the broccoli, pea and basil (batch code 03984, best before 2 October 2019), which is two of your five-a-day and the pea and leek (batch code 03980, sell-by date 2 October 2019) which is also two of your five-a-day.

No other Soupologie products are thought to have been affected and the FSA had advised consumers to not eat the products and instead return them with a receipt.

In a statement on the FSA website it said: ‘Some people are more vulnerable to listeria infections, including those over 65 years of age, pregnant women and their unborn babies, babies less than one month old and people with weakened immune systems.’

The scare comes just months after six patients in West Sussex died after eating listeria-contaminated sandwiches at NHS hospitals. 

The outbreak had started in April and was revealed in August.

On June 17, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirmed that two patients – one at St Richard’s and one at Worthing Hospital – had been infected by listeria linked to pre-packed chicken sandwiches. 

The FSA withdraws products or recalls them if they believe there to be an issue with the items.

It issues Product Withdrawal Information Notices and Product Recall Information Notices in order to make consumers and local authorities aware of such problems.

WHAT IS LISTERIA?

WHAT IT IS, THE RISKS, AND HOW TO AVOID IT 

  • Listeria is everywhere in the environment
  • It’s a type of bacterium that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals through contaminated food
  • It’s found in dirty water, irrigation water, soil and fertiliser
  • Soft cheeses such as Camembert; cold chicken and deli meats; raw seafood and cold seafood such as smoked salmon; ice cream, fresh fruit and bagged vegetables can also carry Listeria
  • Infection can also occur through contact with animals and pests and insufficient cleaning of contaminated fruit and unclean hands 

WHO IS SUSCEPTIBLE … AND THE SYMPTOMS

  • Pregnant women, infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk
  • Listeria starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea and sometimes diarrhoea
  • The time from consuming the bacterium to showing the signs of illness can often be between 8 to 90 days
  • Some people end up in hospital with dehydration 

HOW TO AVOID IT

  • Don’t buy bruised or damaged fruit, wash it before eating and refrigerate within two hours of slicing
  • Avoid foods past their ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date
  • Cook foods thoroughly
  • Reheat food until it is steaming hot
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 24 hours, or freeze
  • Ready to eat food should never be stored in the fridge for too long as Listeria is one of the few pathogens that can grow in the refrigerator

Source: Food Authority NSW, Food Safety Information Council

 

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