A needle was found inside a punnet of strawberries on sale in a New Zealand supermarket. This is the second of such incident in recent months. The strawberries were bought at a Fresh Choice supermarket in Geraldine, a town on the South Island.
This comes after a nationwide scare in Australia which saw almost 200 reports of needle-contaminated strawberries.
An Australian woman accused of carrying out the act in “spite” has since been arrested.
It is not clear if the strawberry punnet, which was bought on Saturday morning, was domestic to New Zealand or imported from Australia. But the person who found the needle was not harmed
However, the store has removed all strawberries from its shelves as a “precautionary measure”. MPI say the matter has been referred to the police, adding that they were currently conducting an investigation. This is the latest incident to take place in New Zealand since a needle was found in a punnet of Australian – imported strawberries earlier in September
The BBC has also reported that New Zealand’s two largest food distributors – Countdown and Foodstuffs have reportedly stopped importing Australian strawberries due to the scare.
The nationwide scare in Australia saw hundreds of punnets of strawberries pulled from shelves. But some reports turned out to be hoaxes and others are thought to be copycat cases or social media stunts.
However, an Australian woman who has been accused of putting needles inside strawberries, was arrested earlier this month. She worked as a supervisor at a strawberry farm north of Brisbane and she is alleged to have been motivated by spite.
She however faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.