Friday 10 July 2020

Poisonous Courgette Warning

PRODUCT RECALL: Courgette Zucchini BATCH I

This applies to any packet of this variety with Batch code I on the back of packet. Please see below and note that your packet may have a different ‘packed in year ending’ and ‘sow by date’ than the example.

It has come to our attention that a batch of our Courgette Zucchini could contain a small number of seeds that could produce bitter tasting fruits. This could be due to unusually high levels of cucurbitacins, a naturally occurring compound that is present in all courgettes, cucumbers and squash.

The incidence of this problem is extremely rare, but not unknown. It is not an issue listed by the Horticultural Trades Association, whose caution labelling guidelines we voluntarily and rigorously follow. It can come from issues with cross-pollination in the seed production cycle and is untraceable before growing out again for harvest. We have tracked the problem to one particular batch of seed which comes from a grower with the most meticulous growing and husbandry routines.

Normally cucurbitacins exist in very small amounts but genetic issues in the production cycle very occasionally deliver larger amounts into the seed which cause the bitter flavour. It’s impossible to test for in the seed itself and we have never had a batch of seed like this in our 40+ year history.

We recommend that if you have grown this variety from a packet with the batch code I that you do not ingest the fruits without taste testing for bitterness. A taste-test is a safe thing to do to detect if you have an affected plant which will be extremely bitter. Ingesting the fruits in any quantity could cause stomach cramps, diarrhea or sickness, so please discard the plant.

Please be assured that we take every precaution to maintain the quality of our seed stock. In this instance we are withdrawing the rogue batch from all sales outlets and in-house stocks.

Product Recall

Product Recall

If you have a packet from this batch, please send it back to us with your name and address and we’ll send you a replacement packet. Return your packet to:




Alternatively, you can email our customer service team at regarding any enquires relating to this product recall.

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