Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is coordinating a national recall of poppy seeds due to the potential presence of the toxic chemical thebaine.
Consumers are advised not to eat the products listed below and to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Cases of illness among people who have consumed poppy seeds have been reported in Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.
You cannot tell which poppy seeds have high thebaine content by looking at the seeds.
What is thebaine and what are its effects?
Thebaine is a naturally occurring plant chemical.
Poppy varieties rich in thebaine are used for the production of medicines and are grown in Australia to supply the pharmaceutical industry.
Poppy seeds grown for food consumption have little or no detectable thebaine and are safe to consume.
Thebaine itself cannot be used as a drug and is toxic to humans in sufficient quantities.
Symptoms of thebaine poisoning can include increased respiratory rate and muscle spasms, which can progress to seizures, breathing difficulty and unconsciousness.
Health advice is available from state and territory health department websites.
How is the recall working?
FSANZ is working with state and territory food enforcement agencies and food businesses to recall affected products.
Recall information is available
The presence of thebaine is linked to unsafe poppy seeds entering the supply chain. The cause is being investigated by state and territory food authorities.
In response to the thebaine toxicity linked to poppy seeds incident, industry guidance
Poppy Seed Safety and Suitability – Guidance for Producers, Importers, Suppliers, Distributors and Retailers was developed.