Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has coordinated multiple recalls of baby spinach products due to potential contamination with unsafe plant material.
The following products have been recalled:
Consumers are advised not to consume these products and return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Frequently asked questions
How did this incident happen?
The recalled spinach was contaminated with a weed – thornapple (Datura stramonium) - a type of nightshade also known as jimsonweed.The supplier
has worked collaboratively with Victorian Government authorities to get to the bottom of how the contamination occurred and prevent it from happening again.
As soon as the potential contamination was identified, FSANZ worked closely with the supplier, states and territories and affected retailers, who have all been cooperative in assisting with the recall of affected product.
What symptoms are people who have eaten the contaminated baby spinach experiencing?
Initial symptoms may include:
Delirium or confusion
Dry mouth and skin.
How many people have been affected?
As of 18 December 2022, over 190 potential cases have been reported across New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland. However, cases are still being followed up and it is anticipated that with greater public awareness resulting from the recall and media releases that more cases may be reported.
What should people do if they have eaten it?
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms following consumption. This may include calling your local poisons information centre.
Where the toxic reactions from a single source?
Yes. Investigations have shownthat all affected products stemmed from a single plant source.
What is the contaminant causing people to become unwell?
The recalled spinach was contaminated with a weed – thornapple (Datura stramonium) - a type of nightshade also known as jimsonweed.
Have all the affected products been removed from supermarket shelves?
Yes. As part of the National Incident Protocol, FSANZ worked quickly with all state jurisdictions to ensure that allaffected products wereidentified and recalled. Retailers were made aware of these recalls and the products are no longer on supermarket shelves.
How did the weed get into the food supply?
This is currently being investigated by Victorian authorities with site inspections underway.
Is it safe to eat spinach and other salad products?
Yes. Affected baby spinach products have been recalled. Consumers should enjoy spinach again.
How serious is the poisoning – will people recover?
While there have been several hospitalisations, investigations are continuing and toxicological impacts are still to be confirmed. It is understood most people affected are experiencing symptoms for a short time and recovering quickly.
What are the most common food recalls in Australia?
Mixed and/or processed foods are the most common foods recalled in Australia. More information on recalls is available on
Food recall statistics.
In response to the toxic weed contamination in spinach incident, industry guidance Managing food safety risks associated with toxic weeds in leafy vegetables guidance document was developed.