The ACT Health Directorate has issued a stark warning to Canberrans who have bought Core Powerfoods frozen meals, after the products were linked to two local cases of salmonella.
The directorate is urging people to check their Core frozen meals and best before dates. Core is conducting a recall of the 310 and 350-gram Going Nuts, Deep South Chilli, Muay Thai Meatballs, Holy Meatballs, Naked Chicken, Seismic Chicken, Old School, and Smokey Mountain Meatballs.
All affected stock, which has best before dates of between August 26 and October 4, 2020, has been taken off store shelves in the territory.
But the products have been available for sale in IGA supermarkets in the ACT, NSW, Victoria and the Northern Territory; independent retailers in all states and territories except Tasmania; and, Coles nationally.
Acting chief health officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, said serious foodborne diseases like salmonella could easily spread from eating poorly cooked food. The apparent outbreak caused by Core Powerfoods' frozen meals was a timely reminder to practice proper food handling when re-heating pre-cooked meals.
"It is important to ensure that high risk foods like raw or undercooked eggs, meat and poultry are properly cooked," Dr Coleman said.
"Salmonella is spread when people eat food contaminated by the bacteria, and this can happen if salmonella is present in inadequately cooked food.
"It is also important to remember that many frozen foods are not ready to eat and should always be cooked thoroughly following manufacturer instructions. It is especially important to reheat food until it is steaming hot."
Salmonella is a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms including fever, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting.
"The ACT Health Directorate is working closely with our health counterparts in other states and territories to investigate the infections that are thought to be associated with this product," a statement from the directorate said.
"The cause of the contamination [is] also still under investigation."