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Food Safety Focus (109th Issue, August 2015) – Food Incident Highlight

Anything Wrong with "Weird-looking" Fruits?

From time to time, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) receives enquiries regarding whether certain "weird-looking" fruits such as melon with"hollow-heart", peach with split stone, lychee with crack shell, etc. are safe to eat. In fact, many of these are physiological changes or disorders of fruits which may be caused by growing conditions such as inappropriate levels of water, light, temperature and nutrients. They may look strange to some but are safe to eat.

On the other hand, rotten fruits usually have obvious signs suchas unpleasant odour or taste along with bruises and blemishes, mould and slimy patches, breakdown of plant tissue or flesh and/or watersoaked lesions. Although not all rotten fruits contain pathogenic organisms or toxins, they are undesirable for consumption as there are varying degrees of deterioration in nutritional values and organoleptic properties. It is advisable to discard rotten fruits.

The CFS reminds the trade and the public to adopt good stock management to keep fruits fresh before consumption.