Rotten memory after eating tinned beef

Company says it is not to blame

Last updated 12:12 24/01/2013
Phillip Keti

Victim: Phillip Keti behind the rancid can of corned beef he ingested on sandwich.

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Corned beef holds a rotten place Phillip Keti's memory after he ate a rancid tin of the Fijian-made produce, but the product's New Zealand distributor claims the maker is not to blame.

Mr Keti purchased the seemingly innocuous 340-gram Golden Country can after three days of Christmas excess and prior to sister Karen's tangi in Tauranga, which he missed due to food poisoning.

The 56-year-old sickness beneficiary was after a quick snack before hitting the road.

The Huntly resident was in such a hurry that he whipped open the tin, smeared its contents across white bread then took a bite.

"All of a sudden when I bit through it, it had this foul taste," Mr Keti recalled.

"But I didn't take any notice - I was having a cup of tea, and rushing, then all of a sudden my stomach started turning."

He said the vomit came and came - it was unstoppable and he felt like death.

The episode made headlines in the Fiji - the home of the corned beef's maker, Foods Pacific Ltd, part of the Foods Pacific Group.

South Auckland's Ashon Ventures (NZ) limited distributes the product in New Zealand and its spokesman Mirza Wajahat said they are fully sympathetic to Mr Keti's experience.

They want to ensure it's never repeated.

Mr Wajahat said Golden Country Corned Beef is produced in a ''sophisticated production facility'' under ''rigorous quality control procedures''.

''The manufacturing process takes the product through several stages, such as heat treatment stage where meat is processed at 121°C for 85 minutes.

''Even if any mould or bacteria is present, the process destroys all pathogenic micro-organisms.''

He said the Waikato Times story was immediately referred to the manufacturer who concluded the rotteness was the result of tampering with easy-open mechanism or damage from a fall.

That could have allowed oxygen to enter through a ''pin-hole or rupture''. Bacteria in any damaged can grows slowly so it must have gone uneaten for ''some time''.

Mr Wajahat urged people to make sure the product is damage-free before consuming it.

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