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Woolworths recalls strawberries after another needle contamination

Supermarket giant Woolworths pulled strawberry punnets from shelves on Thursday after a customer claimed he found needles inside fruit purchased from a store in Meadowbank, Logan, Queensland on Wednesday.

Strawberry needles found in Woolworths
Photo source: 7 News

The punnets were from two different strawberry brands. 

“We’re aware of the customer’s report,” a Woolworths spokesperson told Inside FMCG this morning. “We will assist the police with their investigation, and share CCTV footage as required.

“As a precautionary measure, our store team opened and inspected other strawberry punnets. We found no further product safety concerns in these checks. We’ve also commenced our own investigation in line with our established food safety procedures,” the spokesperson said.

A needle inserted inside a strawberry
Photo source: Courier Mail

The case has frightening similarities to a series of needle contaminations in 2018 when multiple needles were found inside strawberries, planted by a disaffected employee of a produce company.

Customer Raymond Kelly discovered the needles when he was preparing the fruit for his daughter’s lunchbox. He notified the supermarket store and filed a report to the police. 

“I was gutted. My daughter could have choked on that. She could have been hospitalised. Just sickening. I don’t know how anyone could do this,” he told 7News.

A police spokesperson confirmed to AAP that police had received reports of two incidents of needle contamination from at the Meadowbrook store and investigations are continuing.

In July, customers at a Woolworths store in Golden Grove in Adelaide also discovered needles and thumbtacks in fresh produce such as strawberries and avocados, as well as  thumbtacks in a loaf of bread. Detectives said the incidents appeared to be deliberate acts.

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