A woman says a promotional container – or ‘pod’ – from New World shattered as she was putting a salad into it.
New World is offering the free storage pods in a new promotion. It says they are made from shatter-resistant and BPA-free plastic. When used with a pump to take the air out, they keep food fresh.
They say this is an isolated incident and testing has confirmed there is no risk to the public’s safety.
The promotion runs until October 14.
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But one woman complained that hers had shattered.
Lynda Trimboy posted on a community page on Facebook that she was going to put leftover salad in one.
“Gave it four pumps to remove the air and a few minutes later it exploded! Not impressed. The shards were very sharp and could easily take out an eye. Be careful if you have them.”
Another customer said his pods bent out of shape after the first standard cycle in a dishwasher, despite claims they were dishwasher-proof.
Other customers have also been critical if the promotion on social media.
One posted on New World’s Facebook page: “Can you explain why you are getting rid of single use plastic bags and then choose to promote plastic containers? How long do these take to break down?”
Another said: “I will not be shopping at new world [sic] while this promotion is running. You are sending mixed messages about reducing plastic while giving plastic away so we can buy more food to put in it? How about giving away free reusable produce bags? Or at least with the seedlings we could give something back to the land we take so much from. Shame on you new world, I am very disappointed.”
Foodstuffs spokeswoman Antoinette Laird said it had been in touch with the customer whose pod shattered.
“We have picked the faulty product up and it is currently in transit for testing,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the plastic manufacturing process almost always results in a few isolated product quality issues – the plastic moulding and production process is not perfect and if there is even a small imperfection this can cause the product to fail.
“This is certainly an inconvenience to customers but expert advice has confirmed that these imperfections pose no food safety risk. Technical advice confirms that in the rare instance of pod failure the plastic is propelled inwards due to the vacuum, so there is no risk of flying plastic causing injury.
“We believe this is an isolated case of product failure as the issue has not been able to be replicated in the lab. We will be undertaking testing of the customer’s product to determine the cause and we have committed to updating the customer of our findings as soon as we can.
* This story has been updated. An earlier version suggested multiple customers raised safety concerns, when one person has voiced such concerns.