South Australian families can now pack fruits & veggies in lunchboxes

By Hari Yellina
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Image used for representational purposes only

Following the lifting of fruit fly restrictions across the state, fruit and vegetables can once again be found in the lunchboxes of most pupils returning to school. Most fruit fly restrictions in South Australia were relaxed in December, according to Primary Industries Minister David Basham, allowing families to resume packing a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in lunchboxes for the start of the 2022 school year. “Our two-year, $68 million fruit fly-fighting campaign was a success because families and communities helped the government by reporting maggots, adhering to fruit movement limits, and properly managing their gardens,” he said.

At Ridleyton in the city and the Riverland, the citizens are still fighting an outbreak. Families in these areas should continue to bring non-restricted fruits and vegetables, such as exquisite SA rockmelon, other melon or pineapple, snowpeas, or cucumber, or purchase fruit from the school canteen. Moreover, the fruit fly website offers a recipe hub to assist families in preparing fruit and vegetables for lunchbox safety. Fruit fly outbreaks have wreaked havoc on thousands of small companies in South Africa’s $1.3 billion horticultural industry in recent years.

Mr. Basham stated, “We must all continue to play a part in maintaining local jobs and locally sourced produce.” Queensland fruit fly restrictions remain in place at Ridleyton until February 22, and around Pike River and Renmark West in the Riverland until March 13, as long as no new detections are made.

Reminder to Interstate Travellers

Mr Basham revealed PIRSA was “most concerned” about Adelaide’s Queensland fruit fly outbreak, as it may have been caused by contaminated commercial fruit. Even though fruits from a few producers have been stopped, the problem still remains. He added the more common method in which fruit-fly is transmitted was by travellers bringing fruit into the state. “It’s a timely reminder that regardless of outbreaks you must not bring fruit and vegetables into the Pest Free Area of the Riverland,” he said.

Key points:

  • An outbreak of Queensland fruit fly is still active in the suburb of Ridleyton
  • The Riverland could become a fruit fly-free zone as soon as next Monday
  • An outbreak in Port Augusta was eradicated earlier this month.

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