Nationwide recall of Countdown-branded salad batch over listeria fears

A specific batch of a Countdown-branded pre-packed salad sold at supermarkets across the country has been recalled due to fears of listeria contamination.

Routine testing discovered listeria in a specific batch of Countdown’s potato, egg and bacon salad with a use-by-date of July 13, 2021.

The product shouldn’t be consumed and either thrown away or returned for a refund, New Zealand Food Safety said.

The supermarket chain initiated the recall from its Countdown, Fresh Choice and Supervalue stores across the country.

To date, New Zealand Food Safety and Countdown had not received any reports of illness.

The ready-to-eat product is sold in 250g and 400g plastic packages – and the recall didn’t affect any other batches of the salad or any other Countdown-branded products.

Melinda Sando, New Zealand Food Safety national manager for food compliance services, said listeria could make people sick if they consumed contaminated food.

“Healthy adults are likely to experience only mild infection, causing mild diarrhoea and flu-like symptoms.

“However, listeriosis infection can be serious among vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborn babies, people with weakened immune systems, and the frail and elderly.”

For those in high-risk groups, listeriosis typically has an incubation period of two to three weeks (or longer) before symptoms appear.

“If you have consumed any of these products and have any concerns about your health, seek medical advice.”

People who had purchased the affected product should throw it away or return it to the retailer for a full refund, she said.

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