Countdown has confirmed that following a comprehensive investigation, mice are the likely cause of damaged baby food packaging, and has issued a nationwide recall of impacted brands of baby food pouches sold in Countdown, SuperValue and Fresh Choice stores as a precaution.
Any customer who has bought Smiling Tums, Only Organics or Natureland baby pouches is asked to return the product to their nearest store for a full refund. The precautionary recall includes all dates, all flavours and all batches of these products.
A combination of heavy rain in Auckland and a strong attraction to sweeter or fruit-based baby food flavours has led to the mouse damage in two of Countdown’s Auckland distribution centres.
Countdown has found evidence of mice activity in some boxes of the above branded baby pouches. As a precaution, all stocks of these products in the distribution centres and stores will be removed.
These products should not be consumed whether they have been damaged or not, due to the potential contamination by mice.
The mouse activity is not related to any of the brands themselves, their production process or transportation.
Countdown’s General Manager for food safety, Kiri Hannifin, says Countdown sincerely apologises to customers for the unease the last 24 hours may have caused.
“As a mum myself, I know the safety of the food you feed your baby is the most important thing. We sincerely apologise for any distress caused to our customers, our suppliers and your families.
“We ask our customers to bring the impacted products back to their local store, or for online customers, please call our customer care team on 0800 40 40 40, for a full refund. We thank the New Zealand Police and Ministry for Primary Industries for their support to help rule out other causes of the damage,” said Kiri Hannifin.
There have been no reports of illness.