Australia strawberry needle crisis spreads to New Zealand

Stephanie Chheang shared vide of a truck dumpig Donnybrook Berries as a result of the recent spate of needle scares

Strawberry sabotage: Needles found in New Zealand

"Countdown is in contact with both New Zealand and Australian authorities as they investigate this matter", a spokesman said.

A brand of strawberries sourced from Australia is being withdrawn from supermarket shelves in New Zealand, after needles were found in punnet sold at a Countdown supermarket in Auckland.

Countdown advised customers to cut up any Australian strawberries before eating them.

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

The supermarket has withdrawn a brand of Australian strawberries from sale as what it calls a "precautionary measure", Countdown said in a media release.

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

The statement added that there have been "no reports of any illness or injury in New Zealand".

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.

On Thursday, sewing needles were taken off the shelves at a major Australian supermarket chain amid a national panic over sharp objects being found inside strawberries and other fruit.

The damage caused by the sabotage prompted Prime Minister Scott Morrison to announce a 10 to 15 year maximum prison sentence for food tampering offences, calling the perpetrator a "grub".

After an initial drop in sales and thousands of tonnes of fresh strawberries destroyed or dumped by producers after ongoing recalls, many farms in Queensland and WA reported customers turning up to the farm gate to hand-pick their own strawberries.

The news of Australia's fruit contamination scare spreading beyond its borders is the latest blow for Australian fruit growers, who have seen a plummet in demand and wholesale prices since the crisis started earlier this month.

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