12 Aug 2013

Sellers warned to identify irradiated tomatoes

6:32 am on 12 August 2013

New Zealand businesses selling Australian irradiated tomatoes are being reminded they are obliged to label them as such.

The tomatoes are expected to be on sale in the country shortly, after Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye changed the import rules to allow in irradiated tomatoes from Australia earlier this year.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has issued an advisory telling food businesses they must let consumers know the food they are purchasing is irradiated.

The ministry says the mandatory labelling statement must be on the food or close to the food at all points of sale.

It says acceptable wording on consumer labels may be "This product is treated with ionising radiation", or simply "Irradiated".

Retailers may also use the international symbol of irradiation on labels, as well as the wording.

MPI says food businesses that do not comply may be in breach of the Food Act 1981 and Fair Trading legislation.

Tomatoes New Zealand says it expects Australian tomatoes to be on the shelves this month.