Needles found in strawberries at Auckland supermarket, customers warned

24 September, 2018, 13:18 | Author: Regina Silva
  • New Zealand supermarket withdraws Australian strawberry brand over needles

A spokeswoman for the Queensland Police Service, which has been heading the national investigation into sabotage reports, could not confirm if police had been contacted over the new report.

A customer at its Auckland store purchased a punnet of Choice brand strawberries, grown in Western Australia, and discovered needles in the fruit.

It has been almost a week since the first needle was found in a punnet of strawberries bought in Queensland.

Maintaining that no injuries or illness caused by contaminated fruit have been reported in New Zealand, Countdown also recommended that any Choice brand fruit is cut up prior to consumption.

Customers can also return punnets of the affected brand of strawberries for a full refund.

According to, Stuart Smith, the acting assistant commissioner of the New South Wales police force, said: "In the last two days we found a young person has admitted to a prank, including putting needles in strawberries, and he'll be dealt with under the youth cautioning system".

New Zealand supermarket withdraws Australian strawberry brand over needles

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

Strawberry prices have already dropped around the country, with prices in Western Australia now below the cost of production, local media reported. Countdown have since pulled the Australian strawberries from their shelves while the incident is being investigated.

"We do not have Australian product in our stores: PAK'nSAVE, New World, Four Square".

"Any idiot who thinks they can go out into a shopping centre and start sticking pins in fruit and thinks this is some sort of lark or put something on Facebook which is a hoax, that sort of behaviour is reckless and under the provision that we'll be seeking to introduce swiftly that type of behaviour would carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison", Morrison said.

"At Countdown we take food safety very seriously and we have withdrawn any remaining Choice strawberries from sale from Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice supermarkets while we investigate this with our suppliers", the chain said in a statement.

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