First it was strawberries, then bananas and now a needle has been found inside an apple sold at a Woolworths store.
According to an exclusive report by 7 News on Tuesday, police are now investigating an incident in the Sydney suburb of Kellyville where a mother discovered a needle in an apple she was peeling for her daughters’ school lunches. She told 7 News she was “horrified” when she discovered the needle and called police immediately
Police went to the woman’s house on Tuesday morning to investigate.
According to the report, the needle was planted in a Pink Lady apple found inside a six-pack she purchased from Woolworths at The Ponds in Sydney’s north west. The apples are still on sale at the store, although 7 News claims Woolworths has been advised by both New South Wales Police and the Queensland Department of Health not to remove the apples for the moment.
A Woolworths spokesperson told Starts at 60 the store was investigating the case.
“We’re aware of the customer report and understand police are investigating,” A spokesperson said. “The details have been referred to the authorities leading the response to this matter and we’ll consult with them on next steps.”
A NSW Police spokesperson told Starts at 60 they were aware of the incident.
“Police received reports a needle was found in an apple after it was purchased from a supermarket at The Ponds in the last few days,” a spokesperson said. “Officers from Quakers Hill Police Area Command with the assistance of detectives from the Robbery & Serious Crime Squad are investigating the incident.”
Meanwhile, the customer is still in shock by her find.
“This just can’t possibly be happening,” the mother told 7 News. “Not in apples. I’ve seen the news about the strawberries and I’ve been vigilant about cutting those up for the girls, but to see this in an apple, I actually thought these were safe. My kids just grab them and bite.”
The latest news comes a day after a metal object was found in a banana. Queensland Police confirmed to Starts at 60 in a statement on Monday that a 62-year-old woman was assisting police with their inquiries over the alleged contamination in a local supermarket in the Maryborough area. That was thought to be an isolated incident.
“Police are confident no other products were contaminated in this alleged incident,” the statement added. “It is also being treated as an isolated incident without any links to other food contamination investigations.”
Meanwhile, strawberry farmers across Australia have been forced to dump their strawberries as the crisis spreads across the country. Western Australia Health confirmed Mal’s Black Label strawberries in the state had been affected, marking the last of the six states to be impacted by the contamination.
The crisis began last week when Queensland Health issued an urgent recall of strawberries after a needle was found inside a punnet sold over the past week. The warning was issued after Joshua Gane posted a photo on Facebook of a needle inside a strawberry his friend had purchased from Woolworths.
“Just posting this as a warning to anyone that has bought strawberries (Berry Obsessions) from Woolworths recently,” Gane wrote on September 9. “Driving up to the coast when Hoani van Dorp bites through a strawberry and swallows half a sewing needle. We then checked the other strawberries and found another sewing needle lodged inside one of them.”
Meanwhile, a $1 million fund to assist strawberry farmers has been announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to assist farmers impacted by the strawberry contamination. The funds will help assist farmers, promote Queensland strawberries and investigate gaps in the supply chain. It follows Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt’s order of a federal investigation into the matter.
Starts at 60 has contacted NSW Health for comment and is awaiting reply.