Chilean fruit reps defend country's food safety credentials in wake of U.S. recall
Chilean fruit industry associations and companies involved with the export of stonefruit that was recently recalled from the U.S. market over fears it could be contaminated with Listeria have defended the country's food safety credentials.
An announcement on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website stated that New York-based fruit distributor Jac. Vandenberg is recalling 1,727 cartons of fresh peaches, 1,207 cartons of fresh nectarines and 365 cartons of fresh plums originating in Chile.
In a press conference on Tuesday, key industry representative including Ronald Bown, president of the Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX), Juan Carlos Sepúlveda, general manager of the Federation of Fruit Producers (Fedefruta), gave a declaration that was also signed by representatives of companies Río Duero and Subsole.
The declaration said that this was a "punctual and isolated case", highlighting that there was no danger to U.S. consumers.
"As part of the food safety and certification protocols that exist in the processes of the reception and processing of our fruit, the company Subsole, in its plant located on the Isla de Maipo ... there was a detection of an eventual presence of Listeria in one process of stonefruit, belonging to the exporter Río Duero," it said.
"As a consequence of the above, and complying with the international procedures ... Subsole informed Río Duero, which voluntarily proceeded to inform the U.S. authorities of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the situation."
It said the company ordered the market withdrawal of a "known and limited" volume of fruit, adding that there had not been any reported cases of people becoming infected with Listeria.
The declaration ended by saying: "We fully trust that there will be absolute compliance with respect to the food safety of our products, proving the seriousness and responsibility with which our producers and exporters act in every moment."