Food scientists are warning Australians frozen vegetables need to be cooked to be safe to eat.
A range of frozen vegetables have been pulled from supermarket shelves this week due to fears they could be contaminated by listeria.
Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology food scientist Gary Kennedy told The Age while the recall was necessary, listeria was only a risk if consumed uncooked – and only for a vulnerable people.
"If you are a healthy adult you’d have to eat a lot of frozen vegetables to make you sick because most of the potentially dangerous bacteria is killed by the acid in your stomach," Mr Kennedy told the publication.
"But if you’re aged 70 or above, under aged five, newborn or sick (with diabetes, in hospital, having chemotherapy, having operations etc) then you can die from consuming listeria that is found on some frozen food ... Also in pregnant women listeria can cause miscarriage, and if the baby is born it could have brain damage."
He said many people believed it was safe to eat frozen vegetables, for example, peas direct from the bag.
He said heating vegetables above 75 degrees would kill listeria.