Needle found in Australian strawberries sold in New Zealand

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The Australian strawberry scare has spread to New Zealand with a supermarket chain announcing Sunday that needles were found in a box of the fruit sourced from the neighbouring country.

The Countdown supermarket chain said it had taken a brand of Australian strawberries off the shelves after a sabotaged punnet — a plastic box — was sold in an Auckland store.

The strawberries, from Western Australia state, were sold in Countdown stores nationwide last week and only one incident of tampering was reported.

“We take food safety very seriously,” the company said in a statement, adding it was in touch with authorities investigating incidents of needles found in strawberries in Australia in recent weeks.

“Customers can return any Choice brand of strawberries they may have at home to Countdown for peace of mind and a full refund.”