HEALTH ALERT: Contaminated Spinach Causing Hallucinations & Hospitalisations

Nine people across Sydney have been hospitalised due to contaminated spinach sold at Costco. NSW Health has advised anyone who may have purchased the Riviera Farms spinach to throw it away. NSW Health also urges anyone with unusual or severe symptoms after eating the spinach to seek immediate medical attention or contact poison control.

Here’s what you need to know about the contaminated spinach recall.

Contaminated spinach alert 

The Riviera Farms spinach, which is sold at Costcos in New South Wales comes with an expiry date of December 16th. It is packaged in a plastic tub weighing 1kg.

A Riviera Farms spokesperson said the product may have been “contaminated with a weed which can have health consequences if consumed“. The investigation is still ongoing but recent reports suggest the plant accidentally entered the supply line.

‘People are quite sick’

So far nine people from four different households have been hospitalised after eating the spinach. The patients are still very sick more than 24 hours after symptoms began.

“The patients that have been quite unwell have been to the point of marked hallucinations where they are seeing things that aren’t there. They can’t give a good recount of what happened.

“No one has died, so we’re very happy with that and we hope it remains that way, but these people are quite sick,” NSW Poisons Information Centre Medical director Dr Darren Roberts said.

The patients have been experiencing several drug-induced-type symptoms including:

  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Flushed face
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Fever

Although Roberts hasn’t informed the public about the specific poison plant, he does have a good idea of what has caused the dangerous symptoms.

“Lots of tests are being conducted based on material that’s left and the blood and urine of patients [but] we feel pretty confident with the type of chemical that’s caused it.”

Riviera Farms is based in Victoria and has since notified stores to pull the product from shelves.

What consumers need to know

If you have eaten the contaminated spinach, you may need medical assistance.

“When people have these kinds of symptoms they should go to the hospital, these effects won’t go away on their own,” Roberts said.

Anyone who is concerned should call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

Never miss a product recall

At Mum Central, we know how important it is to stay on top of product health and safety concerns. This is why we try to alert our readers when products and food may be deemed unsafe.

Please have a read through our product safety recalls for other products that have recently been recalled including bikes, cots, bassinets and prams.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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