Three needles have been found in strawberries in New Zealand, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

A timeline released by MPI said three needles were found in three strawberries in one punnet.

The needles were found in a punnet at the Countdown St Lukes, Auckland, supermarket.

On Sunday, Woolworths New Zealand informed MPI that the needles had been found.


The same day they began to withdraw all Choice brand strawberries from stores and issued a media statement about the discovery.

The company also agreed to cut up all withdrawn strawberries to see if more needles were found at the request of MPI.

Timeline of the strawberry sabotage
Sunday, September 23, 3.55pm - Woolworths NZ informed MPI of the findings of three needles in three strawberries from one punnet. Confirmation that police have been informed. MPI requests details.

Sunday, September 23, 4pm - Woolworths NZ initiates withdrawal of all Choice brand strawberries in all Countdown stores who stock them.

Sunday, September 23, 4.20pm - MPI requests additional information from Woolworths.

Sunday, September 23, 4.36pm – Woolworths NZ sends MPI summary of situation and photos. Confirmation in writing that Police have been informed.

Sunday, September 23, 4.40pm – MPI assessment of information provided.

Sunday, September 23, 5.47pm – Woolworths NZ informs MPI that it has issued a press release.

Sunday, September 23, 6.20pm – Woolworths NZ agrees to MPI direction of destruction testing (cutting up all withdrawn strawberries to determine if any needles are present).

Sunday, September 23, 7pm - MPI informs Australian authorities.