Singapore’s largest supermarket-chain operator has stopped importing strawberries from Australia amid the nation’s fruit contamination crisis.
NTUC FairPrice confirmed on Thursday they had stopped importing strawberries from Australia after there were at least 100 reports of tampered fruit across the country.
As a ‘precautionary measure’, the operator halted their strawberry imports from Australia on Monday.
Singapore’s largest supermarket-chain operator NTUC FairPrice has stopped importing strawberries from Australia amid the nation’s fruit contamination crisis (pictured)
‘We continue to monitor the situation closely, and our food safety protocols and procedures are also in place should we need to recall any products, in compliance with the authorities´ advisories,’ a FairPrice spokesperson told AFP.
The food retailer added that strawberry sales declined by 10 per cent following reports of the sabotage crisis.
Sheng Siong, another supermarket in Singapore, has requested that suppliers use metal detectors to ensure the fruit hasn’t been sabotaged, the Straits Times reported.
The crisis began on September 9 when a Brisbane man was rushed to hospital after eating a punnet of strawberries containing a needle.
Customers continued to find needles in their strawberries in the days following the first reported incident.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged Australian shoppers to support the farmers, who are suffering from the contamination crisis.
Mr Morrison outlined several government-backed measures to restore confidence in the industry on Thursday.
This included funding to review tamper-proof packaging options and the introduction of X-rays and shrink wrapping on exports.
As a ‘precautionary measure’ the Singaporean operator halted their strawberry imports from Australia on Monday (stock image)
‘There’s work also being done to support communications up through the supply chain into our international markets,’ he told reporters at a farm in the northeast state of Queensland.
The additional screening measures were prompted by a string of incidents and reports the crisis had spread overseas.
Last week a needle was found in a punnet of Australian strawberries in New Zealand.
‘Whoever the idiot was who started this, his idiocy has been completely and totally overwhelmed by the good nature of the Australian people who have stood with our strawberry farmers,’ Mr Morrison said.
Several cases of strawberry contamination have been confirmed as hoaxes shared to social media as well as copycat offending.
Canberra has notified international markets that since September 19 Australian exporters are required to give assurance that their strawberry shipment is free of metal contaminants before they are granted a permit.
Sheng Siong, another supermarket in Singapore, has requested that suppliers use metal detectors to ensure the fruit hasn’t been sabotaged