Safety watch kept on All Blacks' World Cup dinners

Twenty-seven of the 35-man  All Black squad fell sick 48 hours before the 1995 World Cup final. Photo / Getty Images
Twenty-seven of the 35-man All Black squad fell sick 48 hours before the 1995 World Cup final. Photo / Getty Images

Watch out, Susie, this time the All Blacks are ready for you.

The Food Safety Authority has revealed that samples of food served to the team during the Rugby World Cup will be frozen to provide a record for food safety.

And to ensure a level dietary playing field, Rugby World Cup 2011 will document all meals provided to all teams at the tournaments.

"They have advised that they will have full traceability of team hotel meals, volunteer meals and VIP meals for the duration of the tournament," said authority spokeswoman Helen Keyes.

"They also have daily reporting from team hotels and they will be freezing samples of each meal served."

Rugby World Cup 2011 hospitality and logistics manager Ian Crowe said catering information was confidential, but all meals served to players would be recorded.

"We order every meal to every location. We know who eats what, where and when," he said.

Tournament organisers had been working with the authority for the past four years to ensure the best possible food safety.

The new process was not set because of the alleged food-poisoning of the All Blacks during the 1995 World Cup in Johannesburg by a mysterious waitress named Susie, Mr Crowe said.

"We are following best practice, so it's unrelated to those issues."

Twenty-seven of the 35-man All Black squad fell sick 48 hours before the 1995 World Cup final.

Former All Black Eric Rush said he escaped because he missed a team dinner, opting for Pizza Hut instead.

In a post-match report, the New York Times said: "The All Backs [sic], as ever, had an excuse. They blamed an outbreak of food poisoning before the final. The untraceable South African waitress who served the fateful meal has become New Zealand's equivalent of the gunman on the grassy knoll."

Teams and officials will be served 103,000 meals during this year's tournament.

- NZPA

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