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Health Department issues urgent salad recall

Schools and possibly nursing homes have been caught up in the salmonella scare linked to Victorian-grown lettuce.

The health department says it suspects 54 people have fallen ill and 24 products have been recalled from Coles and Woolworths shelves while retailers that use the lettuce in their products – including Lite ‘n Easy and Farmers Direct – have also issued recalls.

Mentone Girls Grammar principal Kay McCullough says their canteen lady bought some of the recalled products yesterday, prompting a warning to students.

The Bacchus Marsh farm believed to be the source of the outbreak, Tripod Farmers, has been inspected and cleaned.

And Australia’s peak body for the vegetable industry was today eager to defend the business.

In a frustrating and sometimes fiery interview with Neil Mitchell, AUSVEG’s acting CEO did her best to dodge questions about the Health Minister’s claims that the incident was very concerning.

Jessica Lye: It’s important to remember Tripod Farmers have a great track record.

Neil Mitchell: Oh great, I’m pleased. I’m pleased.

‘It’s important not to panic in this situation,’ Ms Lye said.

‘We have to be just a bit realistic in this situation and focus on the fact that Tripod Farmers have been very, very quick to get on this situation and get on the front foot.’

The health department issued an urgent recall of products grown and distributed by Farmers after a 28 confirmed cases of salmonella anatum.

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

The salads being recalled;

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

Dr Finn Romanes from the Department of Health and Human Services told Tom Elliott it was a rare strain of salmonella being contracted.

‘We only normally see a handful of cases of this particular strain of salmonella a year in Victoria,’ he explained on 3AW Drive.

‘We’ve seen 28 cases come in the last few weeks, which gives us great cause for concern.’

Click PLAY below to hear Dr Romanes explain more on 3AW Drive.

BELOW: Some of the salads are still on supermarket shelves.

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