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Salmonella linked to frozen microwave meals

(November 2019)

*Updated 18 November 2019 to include latest case numbers.

State and territory food regulators and health authorities in Australia are investigating a number of cases of salmonellosis associated with consumption of a range of CORE Powerfoods frozen microwave meals.

Based on the initial findings of the investigation, the company has initiated a precautionary recall of  the following products with a Best Before date from 05/03/2020 to 04/10/2020 inclusive:

  • 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 IGA's and Coles nationally, Independent retailers in NSW, ACT, QLD, VIC, SA, NT and WA, and a small number of Woolworths metro stores in VIC.

As at 15 November 2019 public health investigations have found that 75 people across NSW, QLD, SA, WA and ACT, with a particular type of Salmonella, reported eating these products. The investigation is ongoing.

FSANZ will provide updates to this page when more information is available.

Consumers who have purchased these meals are urged to check their freezers and throw these products away or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Proof of purchase is not required for recalled products.

What are the symptoms of Salmonella infection (salmonellosis)?

Salmonella bacteria can pose serious health risks. Symptoms of infection can include fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, headaches, stomach cramps and loss of appetite.

Symptoms can begin anywhere between six and 72 hours after consumption and last for three to seven days.

More severe symptoms can occur in young children, older people, pregnant women and people who are immunocompromised and may lead to hospitalisation.

What if I have eaten affected meals?

If you are concerned about your own health or your family's health, see your doctor.

If you are unwell with salmonellosis it's important you don't prepare food for others and as a precaution for 48 hours until after symptoms have stopped.

How can I prevent getting sick from Salmonella?

To prevent illness:

  • Keep hands and equipment clean when preparing and eating food.
  • When using microwaves to cook food it's important that you follow the manufacturer instructions to ensure it is cooked evenly. A longer cooking time may be needed if your microwave has less power than the wattage quoted in the cooking instructions. Food must be cooked thoroughly until it is steaming hot and above 75oC to kill Salmonella bacteria.
  • Keep refrigerated food at less than five degrees Celsius and hot food above 60 degrees Celsius. 

Can Salmonella grow in a frozen meal?

Salmonella will not grow in frozen meals, however it may survive the freezing temperature. If food is thawed incorrectly (e.g. room temperature), it will have an opportunity to grow, and if it is not reheated thoroughly to above 75°C, it will not be killed. 

Does this mean I should not be eating any frozen meals from Core Powerfoods?

At this time, the affected varieties of Core Powerfoods frozen meals are the 310 or 350g pack size with Best Before from 05/03/2020 – 4/10/2020 inclusive. Products include: Going Nuts, Deep South Chilli, Muay Thai Meatballs, Holy Meatballs, Naked Chicken, Seismic Chicken, Old School and Smokey Mountain Meatballs.

Read more information on Salmonella in food.

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