Strawberry sabotage: Needles found in New Zealand

Marco Green
September 24, 2018

Authorities in New Zealand are investigating the discovery of a needle in a punnet of strawberries sourced from Australia.

The fruit, imported from Western Australia and sold under the Choice brand, had been sold at a supermarket in Auckland, Woolworths-owned Countdown - one of NZ's two major supermarket groups.

Countdown Supermarket said that the brand had been removed from their stores and encouraged the public to return them to their stores for a full refund.

The company urged NZ residents to cut up strawberries before eating them, echoing similar advice in Australia.

It also said it was in contact with both Australian and New Zealand authorities investigating the matter.

According to the Herald, the strawberries were sold nationwide last week.

Foodstuffs, which operates Four Square, New World and Pak'nSave, said last week that it would halt the distribution of Australian strawberries in New Zealand.

It's not a joke.

In Australia, more than 100 alleged incidents of pins and needles found in fruit have been reported since the scare began in Queensland state earlier this month.

It added that the brand of strawberries affected by this withdrawal "have not previously had any issues of this nature reported and had not been withdrawn from sale in Australia".

Food tamperers could spend 10 to 15 years behind bars under draft laws passed by the government on Thursday.

NSW police reported more than 20 incidents of contamination in NSW since September 12, but those were all believed to be copycat reports not connected to the initial contamination in Queensland.

"The New Zealand season is about to start in earnest and local fruit will soon be in store", she said. It's not amusing. You're putting the livelihoods of hard-working Australians at risk and you're scaring children.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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