130 people suffer hallucinations, delirium after toxic plant is mixed in with baby spinach – but public warned against seeking it out for a cheap ‘high’
- Sydney Scientist Brett Summerell believes the toxic spinach is a nightshade
- When ingested it can cause blurred vision, delirium, hallucination and fever
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand issued urgent recall on range of products
- More than 130 people who ate the fresh food items reported suffering symptoms
Australians seeking a recreational high are being urged to not to try and find the plant that left more than 130 people suffering hallucinations, delirium and a rapid heartbeat after it was accidentally mixed in with baby spinach.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) issued a nationwide urgent recall on Sunday, advising Aussies across the country not to eat products containing the contaminated baby spinach.
Shoppers were urged to throw away any recalled products containing the vegetable – believed to have come from a farm in Victoria – including salads and stir-fry mixes, which were sold at Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and Costco.
Chief scientist at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Doctor Brett Summerell, believes the toxic plant is ‘likely a nightshade’.
More than 130 consumers reported symptoms including hallucinations and rapid heartbeats. (Pictured, STOCK IMAGE of a packet of spinach)
‘This is likely to be a nightshade. When young, they are just a few dark green leaves which is probably not that much different to spinach,’ Dr Summerell told The Guardian.
‘You’re harvesting all these leafy greens now at a very young age, sometimes it can be quite difficult [to identify].’
Dr Summerell warned Aussies not to search for a cheap high and avoid consuming the toxic products.
‘People might be tempted to go out picking weeds thinking that they’ll get some sort of high,’ Dr Summerell said.
‘It’s really important to remember yes, there might be a hallucinogenic side to this, but there’s a whole lot of really horrible health issues. Whether it’s a mushroom or whether it’s the sorts of weeds, if you don’t know what you’re eating, don’t eat it.’
Coles joined Woolworths, CostCo, Aldi and Riviera Farms in recalling potentially contaminated spinach products
Woolworths has recalled two salad products containing the potentially contaminated spinach as people report experiencing possible toxic reactions
By Saturday evening, 88 people in NSW had reported symptoms after eating baby spinach, at least 33 of whom had sought medical help.
Eight people have become sick after eating the contaminated spinach in Victoria.
Symptoms include delirium, confusion, hallucinations, dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, flushed face, dry mouth and skin, blurred vision and fever.