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South Island Fresh Foods Reassures Retailers And Consumers Salads Are Safe

Contaminated Product Caught By Testing Protocols, Never Made It To Supermarkets

South Island Fresh Foods, the company at the centre of a food recall notice issued by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), is assuring consumers their ready-to-eat salads are safe to eat.

Mark Gabites, the company’s General Manager says that despite what was reported on MPI’s website on Friday (29th January), only one of its ready-to-eat salad products was found to have traces of Listeria during the company’s routine testing process. That product was Country Foods Egg and Celery 1kg – a deli salad destined for supply to only a handful of retail outlets.

“Our products are routinely tested for a range of bacteria prior to dispatch to retailers. In this case, as soon as the test results came back positive for listeria, the product was contained and disposed of, so it didn’t ever make it into retail stores for sale.”

“I can assure our customers and consumers that no other South Island Fresh Foods products tested positive, including those listed on the MPI website." he said.

Mr Gabites said he understands MPI has a protocol to follow, however in this case, the information they have published in their recall notice does not reflect what has actually happened.

“Food safety is at the very heart of everything we do here at South Island Fresh Foods, and we have extensive systems and protocols to make sure nasty bacteria do not find their way into our products.

In this case, our own rigorous testing regime identified the issue before the product left our facility, and our own investigation into the cause of the problem has shown that on this occasion, a particular process was not followed.”

“We have reviewed our protocols to make sure all appropriate checks and balances are in place so it does not happen again. We have reinforced with our dedicated team just how vital it is that all hygiene processes are strictly adhered to at all times.”

Mark Gabites says the company has been in touch directly with its customers to let them know the facts of the situation and any consumers with concerns can contact the company directly on 0800 805 705.

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