Plastic-wrapped mandarins withdrawn by Whole Foods

Nathalie Gordon's tweet featuring the pre-peeled mandarins in plastic packaging Image copyright Nathalie Gordon / @awlilnatty
Image caption Pre-peeled mandarins have been removed from Whole Foods Market's shelves

Pre-peeled mandarins in plastic packaging have been removed from sale by Whole Foods Market after a customer's photo and tweet went viral.

The tweet, which criticised the waste of plastic, was posted on Thursday and has since been retweeted 60,000 times.

The mandarins, an easy-peel variety called Sumos, were available in some shops in Northern California.

Whole Foods subsequently tweeted back: "Definitely our mistake. These have been pulled."

Twitter user Nathalie Gordon posted the image and wrote: "If only nature could find a way to cover these oranges so we didn't need to waste so much plastic on them."

Underneath she posted a photograph of the Sumo mandarins.

In a press statement Whole Foods Market said: "Many of our customers love the convenience that our cut produce offers, and this was a simple case where a handful of stores experimented with a seasonal product.

"Orange and tangerine slices have long been a staple favourite in our stores. We're glad some customers pointed it out so we could take a closer look and leave Sumos in their natural packaging - the peel."

The retailer told the BBC that the packed slices of oranges and tangerines would remain on the shelves.

Sumo is a trademark name for a citrus fruit which is easy to peel, sweet, seedless and bigger than an ordinary mandarin.

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