Kiwifruit Contained Following Typhoid Case

Media Release - 13 May 2011

ZESPRI has been notified by Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) that a Bay of Plenty-based kiwifruit picker has contracted the gastrointestinal bacterial disease, typhoid.

The person involved is in hospital being monitored and is expected to be discharged today. The person is an overseas worker, and public health officials believe they had the illness before
entering New Zealand.

A risk assessment has been undertaken by the Public Health Service and MAF food safety officials and although the risk that any fruit is affected is extremely low, ZESPRI has taken the proactive and precautionary measure of containing any fruit that may have come into contact with the affected worker.

ZESPRI has a highly sophisticated supply chain with quality traceability systems and this has allowed us to quickly identify the location of fruit and isolate it.

As a result around 100,000 trays of export kiwifruit have been withdrawn from the supply chain and options to dispose of it are being worked through. This represents less than 0.1 percent of exports as this year ZESPRI expects to export over 100 million trays of kiwifruit.

Because proactive containment measures are being taken, we are very confident that this fruit will not be made available for consumption in ZESPRI’s markets.

ZESPRI will continue to work closely with the relevant authorities to monitor the situation and report any updates.

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