Tesco has recalled a number of flavoured butters due to the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that can cause foodborne illness — particularly among pregnant women, unborn and newborn babies, the elderly and anyone with reduced immunity.
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According to the Food Standards Agency the following items may be contaminated:
- Tesco Chocolate Chip & Maple Syrup Butter 100 gram
- Tesco Red Chilli & Lemon Butter 100 gram
- Tesco Roast Garlic & Herb Butter 100 gram
- Tesco Three Peppercorn Butter 100 gram
Additionally the following complimentary butter discs, which are offered at the firm’s fresh meat and fish counters, are also affected:
- Counters Roast Garlic & Herb Butter Discs 10 gram
- Counters Peppercorn Butter Discs 10 gram
- Counters Chilli Butter Discs 10 gram
Customers are advised to throw these products away, regardless of “use by” dates.
According to the NHS, listeriosis is an infection that usually develops after eating food contaminated by listeria bacteria, which is most commonly found in unpasteurised milk and dairy products made from unpasteurised milk.
In most cases the infection is mild and the symptoms — a high temperature, vomiting and diarrhoea — usually pass within three days without any need for treatment.
But in rare cases it can be more serious and can spread to other parts of the body, leading to complications like meningitis. Common signs of severe listeriosis include a stiff neck, bad headache and tremors.
Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than other women to get listeriosis, which can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or lifelong health problems for unborn children.
It’s estimated that up to one in 20 people may be carriers of listeria but have no symptoms of listeriosis. Human carriers can also pass stools contaminated with listeria, which can spread if, for example, the carrier doesn’t wash their hands after going to the toilet then handles food.