Contributed by Nguyet Kong
A recent Listeria outbreak in Europe has been reported due to the insufficient cooking of frozen vegetables, which led to the question if frozen vegetables even safe to eat at all. The European Food Agency is reminding people frozen food is not labeled ready to eat and that it needs to be cooked properly before consumption.
Listeria can cause a serious infection after consuming contaminated food. The infection will sicken pregnant women, newborns, elderly and people with weakened immune systems. This outbreak is caused by Listeria monocytogenes, which is a species of bacteria that can grow at low temperatures. Currently in Europe – in 5 different countries, there have been 47 cases of illness which resulted in 9 deaths for 2018. The root of the outbreak is still under investigation. The frozen vegetables were produced at a Hungarian Company and there was recalls from the company in the years 2016 to 2018. Currently, the company is not producing frozen vegetables, it is said that it left a financial impact of 24 million Euro.