According to Hortgro’s Executive Director Anton Rabe, the report being circulated on certain WhatsApp groups refer to an incident dating back to 2015 in California, in the USA, when Listeria was found on caramelised apples. “To link this to the current situation and in any manner or form with the fruit industry as such is misleading and sensation-seeking.”
The fruit industry subscribes to the highest international food safety standards. All South African pack houses are accredited and follow strict guidelines. Without these protocols and auditing systems, the export of fruit to discerning international markets would not be impossible. Fruits from the same orchards are available for local market consumption.
As an industry, we take note and is concerned about the Listeria outbreak in South Africa, said Rabe. “However, there is no direct link between the outbreak and our industry. Hortgro will continue to monitor the situation and engage with health professionals when and where required.”
For over a hundred years SA has had an excellent reputation as a credible and reliable source of excellent quality and safe fresh fruit.