Tuesday, 01 December 2015

Frozen berries alert

Foodstuffs is aware of the directive issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Director General regarding a potential risk associated with packaged imported frozen berries – strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and boysenberries.

It is our understanding that MPI has increased surveillance of imported frozen berries, and are introducing a testing regime.

MPI guidance for consumers is to apply good food safety hygiene when consuming frozen berries including;

- Wash your hands before eating and preparing food

- Berries can briefly be boiled before eating

- Immunocompromised persons and those with liver damage should avoid frozen berries or products containing frozen berries.

If consumers have any concern about their health or that of their family then they should seek advice from their local medical practitioner, or call the Ministry of Health’s Healthline (0800 611 116).

Foodstuffs ensures that its berries are sourced from reputable suppliers with efficient and comprehensive traceability systems and effective food safety management systems in place which have been accredited against recognised local and international standards. We seek ongoing assurances from our suppliers around the effectiveness of their food safety management systems by requesting annual audit certification. The suppliers food safety management systems may incorporate a micro analysis programme to validate the effectiveness of their systems; Foodstuffs has not been informed of any non-complying product or positive analysis results.   

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