Australian strawberries pulled from New Zealand shelves after needles found

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 24, 2018

The company earlier this week announced it had stopped importing further Australian strawberries as a precaution, following scares across the states, while competitor Foodstuffs halted distribution to its stores.

The supermarket chain has withdrawn the Choice brand strawberries - in which the needles were found - from the shelves at Countdown, Supervalue and FreshChoice outlets.

Choice berries are not among those recalled in Australia.

The phenomenon, which has turned many Australians off buying strawberries and thrown Australia's fruit industry into chaos, appears to have worsened over the past week.

The Countdown supermarket chain said it had taken a brand of Australian strawberries off the shelves.

It was unclear when the contaminated berries entered New Zealand but last week Australia had said it was using metal detectors to screen all strawberry exports.

New Zealand supermarket withdraws Australian strawberry brand over needles
Australia fruit scare: Needles found in New Zealand strawberries

Countdown also urged customers to cut up any strawberries purchased before eating them, echoing similar advice from Australian authorities.

There have been no reports of any illness or injury related to the strawberries in New Zealand.

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

Congratulations are in order to the person who reportedly snuck sewing needles into a punnet of Australian strawberries sold in New Zealand, who may just be one of the biggest gronks to emerge in the ongoing food-tampering scandal. "It's not amusing. You're putting the livelihoods of hardworking Australians at risk and you're scaring children", Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday.

A 62-year-old woman has already been caught putting a needle into a banana in Mackay, central Queensland, in what is believed to have been a copycat act. "You're a coward and you're a grub, and if you do that sort of thing in this country, we will come after you".

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