Supermarkets have been forced to pull bags of salad mix from their shelves after several people became ill. Some have reported experiencing hallucinations after consuming spinach.
The Australian Daily The Age reported that at least 47 people experienced symptoms after eating spinach packaged in salad mix bags. Also, at least 17 people needed medical attention.
Some people have reported experiencing “serious hallucinations,” delirium, fever, dilated pupils, and blurred vision after eating spinach.
Supermarket chain Costco was the first company to decide to pull spinach from its shelves, with Woolworth following suit and recalling two varieties of prepackaged salads, according to Futurism.
The hallucinogenic spinach appears to have been contaminated with a plant
In a press release, Riviera Farms said the spinach appears to have been contaminated with a plant that may have health consequences if eaten, although neither company has yet identified which plant it was.
Spinach has been frequently recalled from supermarket shelves in the United States after being contaminated with E. coli and salmonella in recent decades, but hallucinations have not been reported until now. That said, a similar outbreak occurred in Slovakia last year due to frozen spinach.
A similar epidemic in Slovakia
The researchers reported in a study published in the journal Clinical Toxicology that 64 people who ate frozen spinach from the same company in Slovakia suffered “mild symptoms of intoxication” that included “discomfort, dizziness, dry mouth and blurred vision” and these appeared an hour or two after consumption contaminated spinach.
Those who experienced more intense reactions said they were “confused and disoriented” and had hallucinations, according to the study. Interestingly, those “symptoms resolved spontaneously within 48 hours.”
The Slovak government tested samples of contaminated spinach and, according to the study, found that the affected crop was grown near the plant Stramonium daturaknown in English as “devil’s trumpet” or in Romanian as piumăfaie.
Extremely popular plant among drug users
Indeed, the plant contains the chemicals atropine and scopolamine which, when consumed, are toxic and can produce hallucinations, an effect that makes the plant extremely popular with drug addicts. This plant grows all over the world.
It is not clear whether spinach in Australia has been contaminated with blight, but given that a similar outbreak occurred last year and that the plant grows everywhere, the possibility is certainly being considered by experts.