Needle found in Australian strawberries sold in New Zealand

"Customers can return any Choice brand of strawberries they may have at home to Countdown for peace of mind and a full refund", Countdown said in a statement.

About a week ago Woolworths NZ, which is the parent company of Countdown, said it was halting the distribution of Australian strawberries.

Countdown noted the brand had not been withdrawn from sale in Australia, where there had been no similar reports.

The supermarket has withdrawn a brand of Australian strawberries from sale as what it calls a "precautionary measure", Countdown said in a media release.

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 arrest comes as the hunt for those responsible for sticking needles in strawberries continues, and the federal government ramps up penalties for so-called "food terrorists".

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

China summons United States ambassador and recalls naval chief over sanctions move
The increase of tariffs by 10 per cent on nearly half of all goods it imports from China comes to effect from Monday. China responded by adding $60 billion of USA products to its import tariff list.

Countdown says there have been no reports of any illness or injury related to this issue in New Zealand, and there is no impact on New Zealand strawberries which are now on the shelves.

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

This does not affect New Zealand strawberries which are now on our shelves.

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

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

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".

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