The discovery of fruit fly larvae in produce transported into South Australia from Victoria has prompted an urgent recall.
The detection also comes as SA continues to battle a number of serious fruit fly outbreaks across Adelaide and at Renmark in the state’s Riverland.
Department of Primary Industries and Regions executive director of biosecurity Nathan Rhodes said larvae had been reported in stone fruit purchased from a variety of retail outlets including Aldi, Coles, Woolworths and a local farmer’s market.
“The department is investigating this incident in liaison with Agriculture Victoria including the treatment of this fruit prior to its shipment into the state,” he said.
“With the state responding to a series of fruit fly outbreaks across metropolitan Adelaide and the Riverland, the situation is being closely monitored.”
However, Mr Rhodes said the latest detections did not constitute an outbreak of fruit fly under the National Fruit Fly Code of Practice.
“In this instance, quick action from the public have 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,” he said.
“We are working with affected distributors to make sure this happens as quickly as possible.
“The department is following up as to why the pre-delivery treatment of this fruit under the interstate certification assurance process seems to have failed in this instance.”
Until the investigation is complete, controls have been put in place on future consignments from the affected suppliers.
Fruit fly outbreaks across Adelaide in recent months have caused concern for the future of SA’s reputation as the only mainland state to be fruit fly free.
That status is considered vital to the state’s $1.3 billion horticultural industry which employs about 37,500 people.
Late last week an emergency response was instigated for 1500 properties in the suburbs of Prospect and Stepney after more fruit fly detections.
Teams were sent into homes to remove fruit and vegetables from backyard plants.
“We have seen a steep rise in fruit fly detections in these areas and this is an emergency response to step up our eradication activities,” Primary Industries Minister David Basham said.