29 Aug 2020

Damaged baby food pouches discovered in Countdown stores

4:57 pm on 29 August 2020

Countdown has issued an alert after a small number of damaged baby food pouches were found in some stores.

200214. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Countdown logo

Photo: RNZ

In a statement, the supermarket chain said it was not yet known whether the damage was caused in manufacturing, transit or otherwise.

The affected brands were Only Organic, Natureland and Smiling Tums. Countdown said all baby food pouches in their stores had now been checked and what could be found on the shelves was safe for customers to purchase.

The damaged pouches were found at Countdowns in Birkenhead, Milford, Meadowbank and Three Kings in Auckland, as well as at SuperValue Avondale and Countdown Carlyle in Napier.

Police and MPI are investigating the damage and how it occurred.

Customers are able to return the affected brands to the stores for a refund, whether they are damaged or not.

New Zealand Food Safety (NZFS) director of compliance Gary Orr said parents should check the packaging of baby food pouches before using them.

"You can give the packet a light squeeze to identify any holes or other damage.

"In all the damaged product that has been identified so far, the holes have been prominent and easy to see without squeezing. Of course, any product with any damaged packaging should not be consumed.

"To be on the safe side, if you have any doubts about any baby food pouches in your home, please let the retailer know and return it to the store if you can, as this might help us track down the cause of the damage. If you have any medical concerns about your children seek medical advice."

He said damage to packaging did occur "from time to time" as part of the manufacturing and distributing process.

"While we've not yet been able to be definitive about the cause of the damaged baby food packages in this instance, we're looking into the possibility that it was the result of a manufacturing fault."

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