Dangers of frozen sweetcorn highlighted as nine die in food poisoning outbreak

People have been urged to ensure all frozen vegetables are cooked thoroughly as nine people died in a food poisoning outbreak believed to be linked to frozen sweetcorn.

Officials believe a food freezing plant in Hungary is behind the current outbreak, with Hungarian officials withdrawing all food from the plant.

The Food Standards Agency warned people to ensure frozen vegetables are cooked before eating, even when they're used in smoothies or dips.

Frozen vegetables including sweetcorn have been linked to listeriosis, which begins with flu-like symptoms and can kill.

The European Food Safety Authority said that frozen sweetcorn is thought to be behind the current outbreak.

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The EFSA said, 'On 29 June 2018, the Hungarian Food Chain Safety Office banned the marketing of all frozen vegetable and frozen mixed vegetable products produced by the affected plant between August 2016 and June 2018, and ordered their immediate withdrawal and recall. This last measure is likely to significantly reduce the risk of human infections and contain the outbreak. All freezing activity at the plant has been stopped.

'Nine cases ended in death, with 19% of affected people dying.

Dr Kathie Grant, head of Public Health England's Gastrointestinal Bacteria Reference Unit, said: 'The best way to prevent listeriosis is to practice good food hygiene.

'We are reminding people that most frozen vegetables, including sweetcorn, need to be cooked before eating. This includes if adding them to salads, smoothies or dips.'

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