Hoax straw­berry call just poor taste

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By YVETTE AUBUS­SON-FO­LEY

A hoax caller rang both Dubbo Wool­worths su­per­mar­kets last week about con­tam­i­nat­ing their straw­ber­ries but noth­ing came of what ap­pears to have been a prank in very poor taste.

Wool­worths Orana Mall Dubbo store man­ager Adam Mor­ris­sey is sad­dened that any­one would think it a funny joke, given the im­pact the nee­dle scare that’s been in the na­tional head­lines in re­cent weeks has on peo­ple’s daily lives.

Con­sumers are con­cerned for their safety, the in­dus­try is in tur­moil and, lo­cally, the shelves are not stocked with the usual high sea­son quan­tity.

“Im­pact on farm­ers is ter­ri­ble, so we’re en­cour­ag­ing cus­tomers to keep buy­ing straw­ber­ries. We have signs up in store show­ing which brands have been af­fected but we’re not sell­ing those,” Mr Mor­ris­sey told Dubbo Photo News.

“Ob­vi­ously cus­tomers have had a lot of ques­tions and there is con­cern and a loss of con­fi­dence. Thank­fully though our store has not been af­fected or ac­tu­ally tar­geted and we’re do­ing what we can to sup­port con­sumers,” he said.

A cus­tomer no­tice next to pun­nets of straw­ber­ries on sale reads: “Queens­land Health has ad­vised that it is still safe to pur­chase and con­sume straw­ber­ries, but con­tin­ues to ad­vise cus­tomers to cut all straw­ber­ries be­fore eat­ing them.”

Mr Mor­ris­sey said, “We’re hold­ing taste test­ing in store as well which will prob­a­bly be on­go­ing, to in­crease cus­tomer con­fi­dence. The straw­ber­ries will be cut open so the cus­tomers are as­sured they’re safe to eat.”

On Wed­nes­day night, Septem­ber 19, Wool­worths re­moved sewing nee­dles from their shelves na­tion­wide which in­cludes the Dubbo stores.

Wool­worths Orana Mall Dubbo store man­ager Adam Mor­ris­sey says the store is hold­ing reg­u­lar taste test­ing where straw­ber­ries are be­ing cut, to re­store cus­tomer con­fi­dence. They do not carry brands re­vealed to be con­tam­i­nated.

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