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AU: Nearly three tonnes of plums recalled after fruit fly larvae found in store

Maggots found in fruit at an Unley supermarket has prompted a recall of nearly three tonnes of black plums from 72 South Australian Woolworths stores.

Biosecurity SA, which was told about the fruit fly larvae discovery by a caller to its Fruit Fly Hotline, urged Woolworths to remove the plums from sale and to quarantine any warehoused stock. Testing by the SA Museum confirmed the larvae was from a Queensland fruit fly, said Biosecurity SA manager of Plant and Food Standards, Geoff Raven.

“Woolworths has been most co-operative and has provided details of the interstate suppliers,” he said. “We are working together to identify the source of the fruit, which is from one of several suppliers in Victoria.

The news comes soon after a significant Q-fly Riverland outbreak in January as well as Mediterranean fruit fly found at Sellicks Beach, fuelling political debate over the controls and prevention program in place.

SA Liberal Senator Anne Ruston said the incident showed the need for an improved national approach was “paramount”. “Industry and all state governments need to work together and kickstart the National Fruit Fly Strategy, which has essentially been left in limbo since 2008.”

She said the Liberal party has pledged an extra $500,000 over four years for the state’s fruit fly program, to undertake a complete review of the processes “in light of recent developments”, and ramp up nationally-coordinated efforts.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Gail Gago there was increased pest pressure from interstate “where they have effectively given up the fight against Q-fly”. ‘On top of our annual $5m spend, we are investing $3 million in Sterile Insect Technology to combat Q-Fly and help keep SA fruit fly-free,” she said.

Source: heraldsun.com.au

Publication date: 3/4/2014


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