Singapore supermarket pulls Taiwan pineapples from shelves

04/03/2021 10:14 PM
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Pineapples with their blackened cores / Photo courtesy of a private contributor
Pineapples with their blackened cores / Photo courtesy of a private contributor

Singapore, April 3 (CNA) NTUC FairPrice, a supermarket chain in Singapore, said Saturday it had removed all Taiwanese pineapples from its store shelves, as consumers had complained of core rot in the fruit.

A spokesperson for FairPrice told CNA that the Taiwan pineapples were recalled because the supermarket chain has high regard for the opinions of its customers, who have the right to ask for a replacement or refund if they are not satisfied with a fresh product.

Fairprice, one of the supermarket chains in Singapore that import Taiwan pineapples, will work with its supplier to investigate the cause of the problem, the spokesperson said.

According to a report on the Singaporean news site Mothership, the issue of the core rot in Taiwanese pineapples was highlighted by Taiwanese media personality Huang Wei-han (黃暐瀚) on March 30 in a Facebook livestream.

Huang posted images of the "black-hearted" pineapples, which he said had been submitted to him by some of his followers in Singapore, according to the report.

The pineapples went on sale at FairPrice supermarkets on March 18. On March 25, the chain launched a two-week promotional campaign for Taiwan agricultural products, including pineapples.

In Taiwan, Deputy Agriculture Minister Chen Junne-jih (陳駿季) said the core rot in the Taiwan pineapples at FairPrice had occurred because the suppliers had not stored them at the right temperature during shipping.

The Council of Agriculture (COA) has advised Taiwanese pineapple suppliers to ensure that the fruits are kept at a temperature of 11-13 degrees Celsius from the time they are shipped until they reach store shelves, in line with the COA's standard operating procedure for cold shipping, Chen said.

He also suggested that Taiwanese suppliers limit their pineapple exports and wait until one batch has been sold before shipping another.

Taiwanese pineapples went on sale at the Singapore supermarket chain after China banned pineapple imports from Taiwan in February, citing pests.

(By Elaine Hou, Yang Shu-min and Frances Huang)

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