1080 threat falls flat

Countdown said it could not comment specifically on sales for commercially sensitive reasons.

“But to be honest we haven’t seen a significant change in customer behaviour in our stores,” said spokeswoman Kate Porter.

“On the whole our customers seem very positive about the steps we’ve taken – they are feeling assured that Countdown is taking the threat seriously and keeping the product as safe as we can.”

Countdown stores have had signage in place since Tuesday evening when the Government revealed that a threat had been made to taint infant milk formula with 1080 poison.

Foodstuffs, which owns the New World, Pak ‘n Save and Four Square brands, said it also appeared that consumer demand for infant formula was unchanged.

Extra security checks had been put into place through the supply chain and in its stores, some of it covert and some of it obvious.

At New World and Pak ‘n Save, CCTV monitoring of the shelves continued and signs advised customers of the threat. There was also an “infant formula milk monitor” who was keeping an eye on products.

Well, in that case, we really can’t say that the Government, Police and companies involved in this were wrong. ? It seems that, once again, the media were the most excitable of the lot. ?

In smaller stores, signs were up and the infant formula had been moved in front of the checkouts so staff could continually keep watch.

Both supermarket chains were distributing a Ministry of Primary Industries flyer giving tips on detecting tampered products.

Fonterra said it did not make domestic infant formula, but exports of its Anmum brand to Asia were unchanged.

Dairy commentator Keith Woodford said it was worth noting that little infant formula was exported directly from New Zealand. It was usually made overseas.

“There may be New Zealand ingredients gone into it, but it’s not New Zealand branded product.

“We really will just have to see how this one plays out. The domestic market is pretty well informed and will be able to put the risk in perspective.

“The remarkable thing is that this person managed to get hold of 1080.”

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, and this incident has caused all our food safety procedures to be reviewed, 1080 security and handling is tightened even more.

Another story we can put to bed where the media haven’t had their pound of flesh.

I’ve been watching them talk up cyclone Pam over the last few days. ?Looks like it may miss New Zealand, so that’s another?shock-horror that won’t go the media’s way.

Poor media. ?Just can’t catch a break.


– Catherine Harris, Stuff