'Red stuff' in butter mystery solved

When Tania Whyte sliced through a block of butter there was a bit of a surprise. Photo: Supplied
When Tania Whyte sliced through a block of butter there was a bit of a surprise. Photo: Supplied
The mystery of how red flecks appeared in a block of butter bought at a Northland supermarket has been solved.

Whangarei Heads resident Tania Whyte sliced into a block of Pams butter last weekend to discover what she thought reassembled red flecks of plastic.

However, head of external relations for Foodstuffs, Antoinette Laird said the product was collected on Tuesday and delivered to the supplier.

"Preliminary testing suggested the substance had most likely come from the knife that cut the butter as the red flecks were only present on the cut surfaces of the butter. Early investigations suggested the substance was likely to be Teflon from a Teflon covered knife or wax from another product," Ms Laird said.

"Final testing is under way but based on the initial investigation, discussion with the customer and the fact there have been no other complaints, we believe the substance is indeed Teflon transferred to the butter in the customer's home."

Mrs Whyte said on reflection she had had a number of people cooking at her home over the weekend and some of them did bring their own cooking utensils including a red knife.
She had been slicing the butter to put on a steaming plate of home-grown green beans when the "red stuff" appeared.

"I admitted I had found the cause and the woman was relieved I had contacted her back.
Pams have been wonderful and I feel really bad about what's happened. But, anyone in my position would have been alarmed as I was."

She had apologised to Pams and said she would not be using the $10 voucher it had given her after she initially reported her discovery.

Food safety was the utmost concern and any issue was taken very seriously, Ms Laird said.

"It is actually not uncommon to find that suspected food issues do in fact have an innocent explanation, often caused in the home.

"Our suggestion would be if you have a concern contact the retailer or supplier in the first instance, we have strong systems in place to investigate and rectify any potential issue – we usually just need a little time to fully investigate."

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