Disgusting find in Christmas supermarket purchase


A CHRISTMAS cheese platter was a little too blue and wriggly for comfort for one Cairns family's festive feast.

Townsville's Quinten Swaffield paid a Christmas Eve visit to the Abbott St Woolworths and bought a Chrystal Fresh cheese board.

What he and his partner found upon opening the selection of cheddar, Dutch smoked, Dutch gouda and peppercorn cheeses were far from the mild yellow and white wedges they were expecting.

"We discovered the cheese was full of mould," Mr Swaffield, 28, said. "It gets worse than that. There was an some type of worm that was in one of the cheeses."

The cheese board did not contain varieties known for their blue mould such as gorgonzola, roquefort and stilton.

Quinten Swaffield's offending cheese tray. Those cheeses should not be blue. Or wormy.
Quinten Swaffield's offending cheese tray. Those cheeses should not be blue. Or wormy.

These pungent heavyweights are prized for their striking blue streaks which are encouraged fermentation.

The young cheeses are spiked with stainless steel rods which allow air to circulate and beneficial bacteria Penicillium roqueforts and Penicillium glaucum to grow.

The wormy specimen Mr Swaffield found was equally out of place as the Chrystal Fresh pack did not contain casu marzu, which means "rotten cheese".

Quinten Swaffield's mouldy cheese
Quinten Swaffield's mouldy cheese

Sardinian black market casu marzu makers push the envelope and let pecorino decompose and attract flies; when the wheels are loaded with wriggling larvae they are considered by aficionados to be delicacies, which the European Union has banned.

The Abbott St store refunded Mr Swaffield's purchase on Boxing Day.

"At Woolworths, we take food safety and quality seriously," a spokeswoman said.

"Our team has examined the Chrystal Fresh products on display in our refrigerated cabinets and can confirm that this is an isolated incident.

"We are not aware of any further reports of a similar nature at this time."

Still, Mr Swaffield said he'd be sticking to a different supermarket chain for the time being.

His disturbing find came after Woolworths was fined $50,000 in September for multiple breaches of the Food Act.

An off-duty environmental health officer had spotted an expired tin of baby formula in the Abbott St store on July 11, 2018.

Queensland Health raided the store the following day and found four offending tins in the clearance section.