Australia recalls ‘hallucinogenic baby spinach’ products


Australia’s largest supermarkets are recalling products containing toxic spinach that has caused hallucinations, delirium and fever in more than 100 people across the country.

“It’s really very serious. People are becoming sick enough that they need to go to hospital,” Dr Darren Roberts from NSW Poisons Information Centre told Sky News Australia on Sunday. NSW Health advises anyone who experiences severe symptoms to get immediate medical help.“The poisoning that most people are getting in most cases we wouldn’t expect people to die. They can certainly be very sick requiring medical attention. Certainly never induce vomiting or try any home remedies.”

Eating the contaminated spinach, can lead to nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, rapid heartbeat, difficulty walking, delirium and hallucinations. Every state and territory in Australia, except Tasmania and Western Australia, is now recalling a variety of salad and plant products that might contain contaminated baby spinach after almost 100 individuals throughout the country have become ill. According to reports at least 33 people sought medical attention, at least 11 Victorians were sent to emergency departments.

“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,” Dr Roberts said.

While “NSW Health is working with the NSW Food Authority, as well as other jurisdictions, to investigate the issue further,” it seems the recalled baby spinach products come from a single source, a Victorian farm, Riviera Farms. A spokesperson from the grower said: “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. Riviera Farms has been serving the Australian community for five generations, and our staff will work with the regulators to identify what happened, who was impacted, and how we can make sure nothing like this weed contamination can occur again.”

Authorities urge costumers to check and dispose the recalled products, which “are not safe to consume and people who have purchased these recalled products should throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.”