A Westport woman says she narrowly avoided serious injury after nearly swallowing half a sewing needle contained in a two-litre tub of ice cream.

Julianna Rodgers and her partner, Travis Kenny, bought a tub of Tip Top Jelly Tip ice cream from the town's New World supermarket on Saturday November 25.

Miss Rodgers was eating some of the ice-cream when she found the needle in her mouth, and had to spit it out into her hand, she said.

The couple then contacted Tip Top, who advised them to send the needle to an address in Auckland. Mr Kenny said he dispatched the needle to the address using Fast Post.


However, more than a week after the incident he received a letter from the company, saying it hadn't received the needle, and despite trying on numerous occasions had been unable to contact him.

So far the only compensation offered by the ice cream maker is a $10 voucher, something which Mr Kenny said was completely unacceptable.

"Given how serious it is, $10 doesn't quite cut it for me. She could have swallowed that (needle), and I am thinking 'how the hell did it get in there in the first place'?

"They said they have tried ringing on several occasions, but my phone has been on the whole time."

Mr Kenny also alleges that when he threatened to take his case to the media, a Tip Top staff member who had been handling their case asked them not to.

Tip Top was unable to respond to Mr Kenny's allegations by today's Westport News deadline.