Contaminated spinach sparks nationwide recall

Consumers are being warned of the dangers of eating contaminated baby spinach after a nationwide recall was issued last week.

Several baby spinach products sold at a range of supermarkets in NSW and which appear to have come from a single source have been recalled by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), after triggering food-related toxic reactions among children and adults in NSW and around Australia.

The NSW Poisons Information Centre has warned the recalled product is not safe to consume, as it may contain unsafe plant material which has made people sick.

“We advise everyone who has purchased any of the products that have been recalled not to consume these products, and to throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund,” said Dr Darren Roberts, Medical Director of the NSW Poisons Information Centre.

If you have eaten baby spinach and are experiencing symptoms or are the parent or carer of a child experiencing the symptoms listed below, call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

If you are experiencing unusual or severe symptoms such as delirium, hallucinations or changes in behaviour, difficulty passing urine, or a persistent need to pass urine, seek medical advice by visiting your nearest emergency department.

Frequently asked questions:

Which products have been recalled? 

For a full list of recalled products that have been recalled, visit:

What is the cause of the contamination?

The spinach contains plant material from a weed, Datura Stramonium, which can cause serious poisoning if ingested.

What is Datura Stramonium?

Datura Stramonium, also called Jimsonweed or Thornapple, is a weed from the Solanaceae family. It has white to light purple trumpet shaped flowers and its fruit is covered in spikes. The entire plant is poisonous, naturally containing many chemicals (alkaloids) including atropine and scopolamine. Although atropine and scopolamine are sometimes ingredients in medicines for human use, high doses can cause poisoning in humans. For further information, visit NSW Weedwise and PlantNET.

What are the effects if the contaminated spinach is eaten?

Moderate to severe effects may include:

  • Delirium or confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Mild effects may include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Flushed face
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth and skin

How quickly will I experience side effects?
Cases reported to date have experienced a rapid onset of symptoms, within a few hours and typically within one hour.

Should I seek medical attention?

If you or a child in your care are experiencing dry mouth, flushing skin or visual disturbance (without eye pain), you should call the Poisons Information Centre on 131126. Avoid driving if you are experiencing persistent visual disturbance.

If you have nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea with no other symptoms you can stay at home, ensuring you keep hydrated. If these gastrointestinal symptoms are severe or persist, contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 or see your GP.

If you or a child in your care are experiencing behavioural changes (including delirium or agitation) or hallucinations, difficulty passing urine, or abdominal pain despite urination, seek medical advice immediately by visiting your nearest emergency department.

In the event of an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

What should I do if I’ve purchased a recalled product?

If you have purchased any of the products that have been recalled, you are advised not consume them. Dispose of or return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Are there any long-term risks?

The alkaloids found in Datura stramonium include those which are also drugs used as pharmaceuticals for things like travel sickness in low doses. Long-term health harms are unlikely.

Are there other baby spinach or leafy green products which may be affected?

At this time there are no other products of concern. However, investigations are ongoing. If you have concerns about what products are safe to eat, please contact the NSW Food Authority who are responsible for food safety. You can either call their hotline on 1300 552 406 (8:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday) or email

Continue to check for recall updates via the link below:

Can I eat recalled spinach if I cook or wash the spinach?

No. The contaminant is not a spray which can be washed off, but other plant material included in with the spinach. The toxin is not deactivated if it is cooked. If you have purchased any of the products that have been recalled, you are advised not to consume these products, even after cooking or washing. Cases to date have involved well cooked and washed spinach.