AN outbreak of salmonella across NSW has prompted the urgent recall of frozen microwave meals across the state.
NSW Health is investigating at least 10 cases of people with gastroenteritis caused by an uncommon strain of salmonella, most of whom ate CORE Powerfoods frozen meals.
The cases were reported in greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Newcastle, Northern NSW and the Murrumbidgee.
It concerns those with best before dates between August 26 and October 4 2020.
Anyone who has any CORE Powerfoods frozen microwave meals are being urged to by NSW Health to either dispose of them or return them for a refund.
Core Ingredients is conducting a recall of the following CORE Powerfoods frozen meals, 310g or 350g
- Going Nuts
- Deep South Chilli
- Muay Thai Meatballs
- Holy Meatballs
- Naked Chicken
- Seismic Chicken
- Old School
- Smokey Mountain Meatballs
The products have been available for sale at IGAs in NSW, ACT, VIC and NT; Independent retailers in NSW, ACT, QLD, VIC, SA, NT and WA; and Coles nationally.
NSW Health is working closely with other states and territories to investigate other infections of this unusual Salmonella type, Salmonella Weltevreden, that are thought to be associated with this product. The cause of the contamination is still under investigation.
NSW Health's Executive Director of Health Protection, Dr Jeremy McAnulty said salmonellosis can be quite severe and people sometimes have to be hospitalised to manage dehydration, particularly in young babies, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems.
"Salmonellosis symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting," said Dr McAnulty.
"Symptoms usually start around six to 72 hours after the contaminated food is eaten and usually last for four to seven days, but can continue for much longer.
"It is important that people do not prepare food for others while they are unwell with salmonellosis and as a precaution for 48 hours after symptoms have passed."
Dr McAnulty said food must be cooked thoroughly to kill Salmonella bacteria. Microwaves are a quick and convenient way to cook food, however, if they are not used correctly, they can cook food unevenly.
"Frozen food may not be ready to eat and should always be cooked thoroughly following manufacturer instructions.
"The longer food is left at room temperature the more the Salmonella bacteria will multiply. Refrigerated food should be kept at less than five degrees Celsius and hot food should be kept above 60 degrees Celsius," he said.