Restaurants and fish suppliers have been asked by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority to take care with their supplies of fresh whitebait.

The cause of concern is the number of sewage leaks into the aquifers around the city of Christchurch following earthquake damage to that city’s infrastructure.

Fears are that whitebait from contaminated rivers, streams and areas of coast could be introduced to the food chain, and NZFSA has told suppliers, retailers and restaurants to be extremely cautious.

“Our concern is whitebaiters are selling their catch, which is most likely contaminated, to unsuspecting restaurants and cafes,” said a spokesperson.

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