Have you purchased almond milk at Woolworths recently? Check your fridge and pantry as soon as possible, because FSANZ has issued an alert announcing the recall of a popular brand of almond milk which may be contaminated with dangerous pathogens.
What is the recalled product?
The product is JS Health x Inside Out Unsweetened Almond Milk Collagen + Calcium + Prebiotics, in the 1 L presentation, with an expiration date of March 1st. This almond milk is produced by Inside Out Nutritious Goods Pty Ltd, and sold by Woolworths NSW.
What should you do if you bought the recalled product?
If you have any containers of this almond milk, do not drink or use it. You may return them to the place where you purchased them, where you will be issued a full refund. And if you are at all concerned about your health, please go see a medical professional.
How did it get recalled?
The issue was noticed when a person was admitted to Royal North Shore Hospital with symptoms of botulism after drinking the now-recalled almond milk. NSW issued a statement regarding the recall, saying “The person was admitted to hospital, where they continue to receive treatment.”
Investigations started at once, and NSW's health ministry shared that their initial investigations found the botulinum toxin in a sample of Inside Out's product. While the investigation continues, the brand has taken action immediately to reduce the potential damage. Inside Out Nutritious Goods, the company which produces the recalled almond milk, stated to the BBC: "As soon as we were informed of a potential contamination issue, we commenced a voluntary recall and have been providing every assistance to the relevant authorities."
If you are still concerned or have more questions, you are advised to contact: Inside Out Nutritious Goods Pty Ltd or call 02 9737 9771.
What is botulism and why is it dangerous?
Botulism is caused by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which make nerve toxins that can cause paralysis. It can enter the body in several ways, including via food, and it is most commonly contracted by infants.
Keira Glasgow, the Director of NSW Health’s One Health branch, offered information about foodborne botulism to shed more light on the situation. She said that foodborne botulism is very rare in Australia, but it can be extremely dangerous and cause life-threatening illnesses.
“Early symptoms of foodborne botulism include weakness, fatigue and vertigo. While these symptoms occur commonly due to a number of health conditions, with botulism it is usually followed by blurred vision, dry mouth and difficulty swallowing. Nausea and vomiting may also occur. These symptoms can progress to paralysis of the arm muscles and continue down the body to the trunk and legs, and paralysis of breathing muscles can be fatal,” Glasgow added.
Speaking on behalf of NSW Health, she encouraged the general public to take action if needed: “We are urging anyone who has consumed this product and experiences these serious symptoms to seek immediate medical attention by visiting their nearest emergency department or calling triple zero for emergency assistance. Most cases recover if diagnosed and treated early. In foodborne botulism, symptoms may begin from a few hours to several days after consuming the contaminated product.”