Consumers urged to give Talley’s the cold shoulder

Top marks to Macdoctor for calling on consumers to take direct action, in response to reports that the Talley’s food company is tightening its processes (but not recalling its product) after nightshade berries were discovered among packets of frozen vegetables.

The South Island company received complaints over recent weeks from consumers who found the current-like black nightshade berries in their food.

Macdoctor is urging consumers not to buy Talley’s products again until the company

1. Informs the public where the problem was and how they fixed it.

2. Apologises for it’s lackadaisical attitude.

If we can’t have regulatory muscle applied, there is still consumer power.

Other blogs are invited to pass this on to their readers:

The Greens, however, seem curiously oblivious to the issue. Too busy fighting fat, perhaps.

If Sue Kedgley has spluttered her outrage, Alf didn’t hear her.

But Macdoctor makes it very clear he is pissed off with the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s handling of the matter and “horrified” at Talley’s response to the contamination of packets of frozen peas.

Up to 50% of their peas have been found to be black nightshade – a fairly poisonous berry. Have they ordered a recall? No. Have they shut down the line and checked their product? Apparently not. And the response of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority is “to give them a call”. A kick in the backside would seem more appropriate.

Macdoctor contrasts Talley’s attitude with Fonterra’s response in February to a possible further melamine contamination.

Fonterra stopped shipment of their products immediately and did not restart until they were sure that the contamination was contained. Talley’s has these contaminated packets out in the community and all they can offer is a vague promise of a “review of its processes”. Their first complaint was six months ago and they are offering this wishy-washy garbage this week. What have they been doing in the meantime?

The berries might not be as deadly as deadly nightshade. But they can do a serious mischief.

Even at the level of a tablespoon per cup, they are likely to cause a great deal of nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhoea, At 50% contamination they could easily be lethal to a toddler. It is perfectly possible some unsuspecting mother is mashing peas for her infant right now, not realising she is about to kill her child. If that is not motivation enough for Talley’s to recall it’s product and fix its systems, I don’t know what is.

Macdoctor has a crack at the Food Safety Authority, too.

They were informed of this problem several weeks ago, and are only calling Talley’s now that the contamination is in the media. In fairness to the NZFSA, the most they can do is fine Talley’s via the court. They have no power to shut down production or order a recall.
Which shows how the food industry is virtually unregulated in terms of safety standards.

That’s why MacDoctor is advising us to stop buying Tally’s products immediately, dump any of their stuff in our freezers and re-purchase “a safer brand.”

And under no circumstances give the peas to our children.

No Minister has expressed support for the cause and thanks MacDoctor for performing “a valiant public service.”

It’s worth noting that peas are pictured on the “Food” section of the Green Party’s website.

The Greens say:

Food is one of the most import things in our lives, and yet we often have no idea what we are eating, where it has come from or what it will do to us. The Green Party wants our food to be safe to eat, properly labelled and free of GE, antibiotics and pesticides. We have run a major Food Revolution campaign for the last two years, a well as winning government programmes for the organics industry and school nutrition.

But Alf can’t find their expressions of concern about the Talley’s frozen peas.

The most recent posting on their “latest press releases” deals with the national cycleway

Sue Kedgley may be preoccupied with persuading people to steer clear of goodies that make them fat.

Or perhaps she thinks pea contamination is best handled by police as a drugs issue.

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