Anne-Marie Arts (United Fresh) warns of food safety risks due to flooding

2 February 2023

Urgent Notice: Fresh vegetables face contamination risk from floodwaters

Anne-Marie Arts of United Fresh NZ Inc. has been very effectively “fronting” media to get a warning out to the public not to eat any fruit and vegetables that have come into contact with floodwaters.    

Her message about possible microbial and chemical contamination has been clearly delivered through a wide range of mainstream media.  United Fresh is concerned with what happens to produce post farm gate, so they have aligned and coordinated their communications with that from Horticulture New Zealand. 

In a media release from United Fresh, Anne-Marie says “After the flooding subsides, growers will not harvest the affected crops and will have special protocols for disposing of the affected plant matter. Replanting the land will not occur for some time until it is dry and considered suitable. These delays might result in long gaps in supply of some varieties.”

“Crops that might be suitable to pick will now be quarantined until they are declared safe to eat by microbial testing.”

Anne-Marie works closely with the Centre through the horticultural risk assessment project underway, and as leader of the Centre’s Horticulture Taskforce.