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Matthew Jones



Zespri gives all-clear to withdrawn fruit

New Zealand kiwifruit marketer confident no risk posed to consumer safety following packaging scare

Zespri gives all-clear to withdrawn fruit

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Zespri will unpack, check and repack every tray of kiwifruit currently on hold in its distribution network, after establishing that fruit potentially affected by a recent packaging scare poses no risk to consumer safety.

The fruit was quarantined in early April, following concerns small deposits of grease on its pocket packs could affect around 0.01 per cent of the fruit it was holding.

The single desk marketer has sought advice from numerous domestic and international independent agencies on the compounds found in the grease to undertake a risk assessment.

Zespri’s chief operating officer, Simon Limmer, said the process determined there was no risk to consumer health, given the composition of the grease and the very small deposits potentially on the packaging.

“Having confirmed there is no risk to human health, we now want to focus on ensuring all our fruit is delivered in top condition,” Limmer said. “We are taking extra steps to reassure our customers and consumers that this fruit is the same premium quality as all Zespri kiwifruit.” 

The same check and re-pack process will be used on trays currently on-hold in export markets. Once this process is finished, the remaining fruit will be released from hold.

“We thank and acknowledge the huge efforts of the industry in working through this issue,” Limmer added.

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