A fresh herb grower has confirmed its Italian parsley, which was stocked by two New World supermarkets in the Auckland region, has tested positive for listeria - a bacteria which can cause miscarriage.
Tasman Bay Herbs voluntarily withdrew its full range of products from stockists on Monday, but has now narrowed the presence of the bacteria down to the Italian parsley, which was sold to New World Victoria Park and Warkworth, in the Auckland region.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has advised that anyone with a 50 gram bag of Tasman Bay Herbs brand fresh cut Italian parsley should check the best before date. If it is on, or before June 27, 2015, the Italian parsley should not be consumed.
The product was also supplied to Wellington's New World Thorndon, Pak 'N' Save Upper Hutt, Nelson's Fresh Choice Richmond and Raeward Fresh Richmond, and Christchurch New World supermarkets Northwood, South City and St Martins.
A spokeswoman for New World parent company Foodstuffs said the products had been removed from shelves: "A standard product withdrawal was put in place."
Tasman Bay Herbs' owner Don Grant said the parsley had been supplied to his business by another grower. He said normally his products were grown hydroponically, but the parsley had been grown in the ground.
The contamination had been picked up after herbs were tested, which Mr Grant said was done regularly. He did not believe anyone had become unwell after eating the Italian parsley.
Tasman Bay Herbs had been operating for 19 years without a hitch, and the withdrawal was "devastating", he said.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said there had been no reports of illness.
"However any person concerned about their health should seek medical advice. Customers should return the product to their retailer for a full refund or phone 03 528 7275 with any queries. This recall does not affect any other Tasman Bay Herbs Ltd product."
According to the Ministry of Health website, people most at risk of harm from Listeria are pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborn babies, people with weakened immune systems (including cancer patients, diabetics, people taking immunosuppressive treatments, people with liver or kidney disease) and frail older people.
Symptoms of infection include mild fever, headache, aches and pains, feeling sick or nauseous, vomiting or diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
For more information on listeria go to: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/food-and-water-borne-diseases/listeria