Primary Industries and Regions SA recently requested a withdrawal from Woolworths shelves of passionfruit supplied from an interstate producer, following confirmation of infestation with Queensland fruit fly larvae.
PIRSA's Biosecurity SA requested Woolworths withdraw passionfruit from the affected grower, from a batch with a best before date of 14 October. This included all passionfruit from that supplier sent to South Australia since the start of October.
This detection does NOT constitute an outbreak of fruit fly. The situation is being closely monitored in accordance with the National Fruit Fly Code of Practice.
If you have purchased passionfruit from Woolworths in October you should check them for signs of larvae. Do not return the passionfruit to the place of purchase—contact the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 for advice.
PIRSA Deputy Chief Executive Mehdi Doroudi said the larvae were discovered in passionfruit purchased from a metropolitan Adelaide Woolworths supermarket, outside of South Australia's Pest Free Area.
"Quick action from a member of the public alerted us to the infested fruit, and Woolworths is being very cooperative in assisting with the withdrawal" said Professor Doroudi.
"The consumer who reported this incident to the Fruit Fly Hotline was very conscientious and also provided photos of the larvae.
"Their assistance and the cooperation of Woolworths allowed us to instigate a prompt withdrawal of passionfruit, removing further distribution and risk to the state's $1.25 billion horticulture industry vulnerable to fruit fly.
"PIRSA continues to work with Woolworths and the supplier in determining the full extent of distribution.
"Only a few pieces of fruit were infested, and the fruit had a best before date of 14 October so has likely all been consumed by now. No passionfruit from that supplier remains on Woolworths shelves.
"If you still have any passionfruit purchased in October, be vigilant - check your fruit carefully for larvae grubs. If you find anything suspicious place it in a sealed bag or container and call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 for advice.
"Thanks to rigorous and highly responsive biosecurity measures, South Australia is the only mainland state in Australia that is fruit fly free.
"We are following up with our interstate trading partners as to the efficacy of current agreed interstate procedures for the importation of passionfruit.
"I cannot stress enough how important it is to check your fruit, especially if it has come from interstate. If you see anything unusual—any signs of larvae or maggots—place the fruit in a sealed bag or container and contact the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010."
For more information on how to keep South Australia fruit fly free visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/fruitfly