Poppy seeds – kitchen ingredient – sold at both Coles and Woolworths are urgently being recalled across Australia by Hoyts Food Manufacturing due potential contamination with unusually high levels of thebaine. The retail giants have pulled 100g packs and 240g jars of Hoyts Poppy Seeds from stores nationally. Late on Tuesday, Food Standards Australia announced that Gaganis Bros Imported Food Wholesalers Pty Ltd – together with other businesses responsible for their brands and products – were also recalling their poppy seed products. “Food products containing thebaine may cause illness if consumed. Severe poisoning soon after ingestion has occurred in some people who have consumed large amounts of poppy seeds,” Food Standards Australia (FSA) warned.
Symptoms of poisoning can be severe and include muscle cramping, muscle spasms and abnormal movements, seizures and even cardiac arrest. „People who have purchased these recalled batches of poppy seeds should throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund,” a spokesperson said. Victorian authorities have confirmed that one person suffered a cardiac arrest and two others are in ICU after consuming poppy seeds. More cases have been reported interstate. It was last known that 19 people were hospitalized. Some affected patients have reported the poppy seed tea consumed has had an unusual dark brown colour and bitter taste.