Needles found in strawberries at Auckland supermarket, customers warned

Why dad who reported needle in daughter's strawberry is being charged

"At Countdown we take food safety very seriously and we have withdrawn any remaining Choice strawberries from sale from Countdown, SuperValue and FreshChoice supermarkets while we investigate this with our suppliers", Countdown said in a statement.

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

A South Australian man who reported finding a needle in his daughter's strawberry has been charged after police found his claims to be false.

The fruit, imported from Western Australia and sold under the Choice brand, had been sold at a supermarket in Auckland, Woolworths-owned Countdown - one of NZ's two major supermarket groups.

It has been almost a week since the first needle was found in a punnet of strawberries bought in Queensland.

Foodstuffs, which operates Four Square, New World and Pak'nSave, said last week that it would halt the distribution of Australian strawberries in New Zealand.

Countdown would continue to stock New Zealand strawberries.

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Strawberry prices have already dropped around the country, with prices in Western Australia now below the cost of production, local media reported.

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

Following similar advice from public health authorities in Australia, customers should cut up any Australian strawberries before eating them.

There have been over 100 reports of needles being found in supermarket fruit in Australia.

Australia's Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton last week said that new laws were needed to dissuade any copycat offenders, including increasing the maximum jail time for contaminating food from 10 10 15 years.

Contaminated strawberries were found across five states with the West Australian government offering a $100,000 reward for information.

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