Officials order checks on rocket salad after poison plant find

DDP/The Local
DDP/The Local - [email protected] • 13 Aug, 2009 Updated Thu 13 Aug 2009 13:04 CEST
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After the discovery of a poisonous plant in a package of rocket salad in a Hannover supermarket this week, the Lower Saxony Ministry for Consumer Protection announced on Thursday it would increase checks of the leafy greens.

Over the next three weeks, 50 packages of rocket salad will be tested to ensure that their contents are as labelled. The state's Health Ministry also said that no other contaminates were found in any of the other 9,000 packages of salad sent back to the supplier in Rhineland-Palatinate.

“The fact is, when it comes to consumer protection, health is the most important aspect,” Hans-Heinrich Ehlen, the minister for nutrition, agriculture and consumer protection in Lower Saxony, said on Thursday.

Late last week, a customer at discount supermarket Plus found senecio, commonly known as ragwort, in his pre-packaged rocket salad. The plant is poisonous and can cause life-threatening liver damage to anyone who consumes it. The Hannover customer was fortunate enough to be able to distinguish the ragwort leaves from the rocket leaves.

Plus confirmed to The Local yesterday that all packages of the salad were immediately pulled from shelves of all Plus and Netto stores across the country.

The supplier also recalled all further orders of the produce.

The 150-gramme box contained 2,500 microgrammes of ragwort. A University of Bonn botanist told German news magazine Der Spiegel that one microgramme is the maximum amount a person can consume.

Ragwort is a yellow-flowering plant relative to the daisy and is commonly found all over Germany.



DDP/The Local 2009/08/13 13:04

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