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Health alert issued as toxic spinach causes hallucinations and delirium

Health alert issued as toxic spinach causes hallucinations and delirium

At least 17 people have required medical attention after eating the spinach

A batch of toxic spinach has left people severely sick and suffering from hallucinations.

At least 17 people have needed medical attention after eating the baby spinach, prompting health authorities in Australia to issue an urgent warning.

Health officials have said symptoms include blurred vision, fever, dry mouth, spiked heart rates and delirium after eating the Riviera Farms baby spinach from Costco in New South Wales.

Riviera Farms says it believes the spinach was contaminated by a weed and says no other products are affected.

New South Wales Health has urged anyone with packets of the spinach carrying an expiry date of December 16 not to eat it and instead throw the whole thing out.

Anyone who has purchased a bag of the potentially toxic spinach has been told to throw it away.
incamerastock / Alamy Stock Photo

The department said: "The product is not safe to consume and people who have it should throw it out.”

Dr Darren Roberts, from the state's Poisons Information Centre, told the Sydney Morning Herald: "No one has died, so we're very happy with that and we hope it remains that way, but these people are quite sick... to the point of marked hallucinations, where they are seeing things that aren't there.”

New South Wales Health advised anyone who developed any unusual symptoms after consuming the spinach to seek urgent medical attention at their nearest emergency department.

As yet all of those who have been affected are from Sydney, but New South Wales Health has alerted authorities in other states as a precaution while investigations are ongoing.

New South Wales Health said: “Initial investigations suggest the presence of an accidental contaminant in the food product.

“NSW Health is working with the NSW Food Authority, as well as other jurisdictions, to investigate the issue further.”

Nine people have required medical treatment.
Westend61 GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

In a statement Riviera Farms said: “Early reports are that our one-kilogram plastic tubs of spinach with a best-before date of 16/12/2022 may be contaminated with a weed which can have health consequences if consumed.

“As soon as we were advised of the possible weed contamination from one of our customers, we immediately advised them to remove our impacted spinach from their shelves and contacted state health and federal food authorities.”

The spokesperson went on to say there’s no reason to believe any other products have been affected, adding: “Riviera Farms has been in the business of providing fresh food since the 1880s and we are saddened to confirm that we have likely had our first ever significant contamination incident.”

Anyone who is concerned over exposure to the spinach should contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

Featured Image Credit: Danny Smythe / incamerastock / Alamy

Topics: Australia, Food and Drink