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Dozens of people in Australia have unwittingly consumed spinach contaminated with an unknown toxin, causing symptoms including hallucinations, delirium and blurred vision. and prompting the country’s authorities to announce a national recall of 13 spinach-based foods.

“Queensland Health is urging people not to consume a range of baby spinach products following cases of possible food poisoning reported across the state,” state authorities said on Sunday, adding that a child who was admitted to hospital in one were released from suspected cases of infection.

More than 114 people in four states in Australia have reported adverse side effects after eating the tainted spinach products, according to state figures from the Washington Post on Sunday. Health officials warned consumers not to eat the recalled spinach products, which can cause symptoms including delirium, confusion, hallucinations, dilated eyes, fast heart rate, flushed face, blurred vision and dry mouth and skin. Victoria state authorities said clinical symptoms also included slurred speech, nausea and vomiting.

“I feel like my body is moving when it’s not,” said Pratima Kafle, 30, who said she hallucinated, felt confused and felt numb all over after eating seven ounces of cooked spinach on Tuesday. after use.

Kafle told him The symptoms started 10 to 15 minutes after she ate the spinach she bought at a Costco in Canberra, the Australian capital. “I feel dizzy, I need someone to hold me up and help me walk,” she recalled, adding that she couldn’t drink a glass of water without spilling it and fell to the floor at one point, thinking, who is in bed

“At that point I feel like I was on some kind of drug that numbs your body and you can’t feel anything,” he added. He reported other temporary symptoms, including dry mouth, blurred vision, and difficulty breathing. “Strange feelings. It sounds funny, but it’s not,” he said.

Victoria state health officials said symptoms usually occur “within hours” of consuming contaminated spinach, but did not say how long they last.

Darren Roberts, medical director of New South Wales’ Poisons Information Centre, told the Sydney Morning Herald that some patients were still sick more than 24 hours after the onset of their symptoms, adding: marked hallucinations where they see things that aren’t there.”

It was not immediately clear from which farm the spinach products consumed by Kafle and other victims originated, but Food Standards Australia New Zealand, which is coordinating the recall, said in a statement on its website that “there is likely one source. from pollution.” The strain of the contaminating plant sent to labs for testing has not been publicly identified by health authorities.

Health officials found 13 spinach products sold under four brands that consumers were advised not to eat and to return to their place of purchase for a full refund. Potentially unsafe products include Woolworth’s Chicken Cobb Salad and Coles Kitchen Smokey Mexican Salad, which are marked with special “use by dates”, food health agents have warned.

According to a statement from Riviera Farms, which grew the spinach in the recall, the tainted vegetables were grown at a farm in Victoria where they appeared to be “contaminated with a weed that could cause health effects if consumed.”

Riviera Farms said it has notified customers in its supply chain of the recall. “Riviera Farms can confirm that we have contacted all 20 of our baby spinach customers by phone, in writing or both on Thursday and Friday,” a spokesperson said. The Saturday announcement is posted on the grower’s website.

The majority of reported cases were in the state of New South Wales, where health officials said in a statement Saturday that 88 people reported symptoms after eating baby spinach, including at least 33 who sought medical attention. In Queensland, 26 people reported symptoms to the state poison center by Sunday.

Health officials in Victoria say clinical symptoms reported by consumers of spinach products are indicative of anticholinergic syndrome.

According to clinical guidelines published by the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, the syndrome can be triggered by accidental ingestion of anticholinergic agents, including lethal nightshade (Atropa belladonna), jimson weed, mandrake root, broad bean and angel’s trumpet.


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