Discounter supermarket Aldi Australia has promised to sell unadulterated oregano, after it was found that nearly 190,000 units of oregano products sold in its stores contained only 35% oregano. An investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year accused Aldi and supermarket supplier Menorahave of selling adulterated oregano products.
Aldi and Menora are understood to have committed to conduct annual testing of the composition of their herb and spice products. Aldi sold 126,800 units of its own brand Stonemill and 61,480 Menora-branded oregano products. Aldi’s own brand was sold in its 400 stores in 2015. Whereas Menora branded products were sold at IGA and independent food services in NSW, Vic, WA and SA in the same year. Aldi and Menora had stated that the products were made of 100 percent dried oregano leaves, which in testing revealed contained a “substantial presence of olive leaves”.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims said: “This is extremely bad behaviour. I don’t think it’s in anybody’s head that you’re getting anything other than pure oregano and our message to retailers is: Check the products you’re selling. The offer of refunds is there. If you take back the empty container you’ll get a refund, take back proof of purchase, you’ll get a refund.”
Aldi and Menora were not the only offenders. The worst was Master of Spices, which was only 10 per cent oregano, followed by Hoyt’s, at 11 per cent, and Aldi’s Stonemill, at 26 per cent.