Industry puzzled by discoveries of frogs in bags of leafy vegetables

Three cases of frogs found in bags of leafy vegetables this month have caused some concern and indeed puzzlement in the industry.

First a Hampshire family found a live juvenile frog in a bag of Waitrose mixed leaf salad. Then two dead frogs were found in bags of Tesco leafy spinach in separate incidents in London.

According to a statement from Tesco: "We are urgently investigating these incidents and working to establish which of our suppliers the products came from." A representative confirmed that the source was British. "Between late April and mid October, it is our policy to source 100 per cent of our spinach from the UK."

Meanwhile, Waitrose also said it was investigating the "isolated incident".

British Leafy Salads Association chairman Colin Bloomfield said: "It remains to be seen where in the supply chain they got in. But growers are being as environmentally friendly as possible and encourage wildlife. Frogs are not hazardous to public health in the way that, for example, birds can carry campylobacter. Growers take steps to prevent this but there is always the possibility of the odd one getting through."

He added: "In my experience, customers are quite sanguine about these things and would treat it as a one-off - it's not like E. coli where you can't tell whether there's a danger there or not."

Professor Trevor Beebee, president of the British Herpetological Society, said he was puzzled by the cluster of cases.

"I've never heard of it happening before," he added. "It's possible that frogs have been more active this year or there may be some behavioural thing underpinning it.

"But there's no evidence of increasing numbers - they've been fairly stable in recent years."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Is a post-Brexit seasonal worker scheme now impossible?

Is a post-Brexit seasonal worker scheme now impossible?

The UK fresh-produce sector has reacted with dismay at the latest developments in the ongoing debate, largely conducted out of public view, on whether UK horticulture will still have access to seasonal migrant workers when the UK leaves the EU in 18 months' time.

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, a new report argues.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon