Stone fruits pulled from South Australian supermarket shelves

Stone fruit has been removed from major supermarkets in South Australia after fruit fly larvae was found in the produce.

The affected fruit — including nectarines and peaches — came from Victoria and has been sold in Coles, Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets and at a farmers’ market.

Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) executive director of biosecurity Nathan Rhodes said an investigation into the incident was under way, with the assistance Agriculture Victoria.

He said the treatment of the fruit prior to its shipment into South Australia is being looked into.

“With the state responding to a series of fruit fly outbreaks across metropolitan Adelaide and the Riverland, the situation is being closely monitored,” Mr Rhodes said.

“In this instance, quick action from the public has alerted us to this issue; however, we are regarding this incident with a great deal of seriousness, and as a result there has been a withdrawal of affected produce from shelves.

“We are working with affected distributors to make sure this happens as quickly as possible.”

Controls have been put in place on future deliveries from the affected suppliers.

They will remain in place until the investigation is complete.

A PIRSA spokeswoman said customers should check any recently purchased produce before eating it.

“Unaffected fruit does not need to be returned to the place of purchase,” they said.

“But households should follow the current restrictions on fruit movement restrictions for their area, particularly if they live in a fruit fly outbreak or suspension area.”

If anyone finds any signs of larvae or maggots in their fruit, they need to place it in a sealed bag or container and immediately contact the fruit fly hotline on 1300 666 010 to arrange a collection.

South Australia is continuing to battle a fruit fly outbreak, spread across metropolitan Adelaide and Renmark, located near the state’s border with Victoria.

People who live in about 1500 properties in the hot=spot areas of Prospect and Stepney were last week asked to remove at-risk fruit and vegetables from trees and plants as soon as possible as part of the state’s emergency response.

The state government said it was committed to protecting its $1.3bn horticulture industry that was at risk from fruit fly.

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