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Contamination scare hits Produce Investments shares

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Shares in daffodils-to-potatoes group Produce Investments tumbled after a "potential contamination issue" prompted a recall of potato salad and ready meal products.

Shares in Produce Investments - which had been recovering from an all-time low reached in February after a caution over "price pressure" stemming from UK supermarket wars – went back into retreat after Tuesday's warning, falling 20% at one stage.

The stock recovered some ground in late deals to close at 131.5p, down 12.3% on the day.

The share followed a statement by the UK-based group that its Swancote Foods potato processing subsidiary had "experienced a potential contamination issue", relating to the "possible identification of traces of metal" in one of its products.

Supermarket recall

"Affected customers have been made aware of the issue and this has resulted in the recall of a number of potato salad and ready meal products," Produce Investments said.

A company spokesman declined to comment further to on the products that have been recalled.

However, the group's statement follows the recall by Sainsbury and Tesco, the UK supermarket groups, of some potato salads, due to the concerns that they might contain small pieces of metal.

Produce Investments said that it was "working closely with its customers to determine the full facts behind this incident and to resolve the issue as soon as possible".

The group added: "The potential financial impact of the recall is being analysed, but at this stage it is too early to quantify what any exceptional costs will be."


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