Urgent warning about Costco baby spinach as shoppers poisoned

NSW Health has issued an urgent warning about a baby spinach product sold at Costco after what it described as a number of cases of possible "food-related toxic reactions".

Multiple people across Sydney have reportedly been hospitalised, with some experiencing severe symptoms including hallucinations and delirium.

The impacted baby spinach was sold at the discount grocer under the brand name Riviera Farms and has an expiry date of 16 December 2022.

Initial investigations suggest the presence of an accidental contaminant in the food product, NSW Health said.

The affected product has been sold through Costco stores. Source: ABC
The affected product has been sold through Costco stores. Source: ABC

A Riviera Farms spokesperson told the ABC the product may have been "contaminated with a weed which can have health consequences if consumed".

"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," the spokesperson said.

So far, NSW Health has identified nine people from four separate and unrelated households across Sydney who have required medical attention after developing poisoning soon after eating the product.

As well as hallucinations and delirium, other potential symptoms include dilated pupils, a rapid heartbeat, a flushed face, blurred vision, dry mouth and skin and a fever.

NSW Health urges anyone who experiences any unusual and severe symptoms to seek immediate medical attention by visiting their nearest emergency department.

The full extent of the product's distribution is currently unclear with NSW Health working with the state's Food Authority, as well as other jurisdictions, to investigate the issue further.

Anyone who is concerned about exposure to the spinach should call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

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