Strawberries have been pulled from the shelves of a Timaru supermarket after the discovery of a needle.
Foodstuffs NZ has pulled strawberries from Pak'nSave Timaru after a local woman found a needle inside a strawberry.
The discovery is the latest in a string of disturbing incidents involving needles in fruit, including a needle found inside a strawberry in a punnet purchased at FreshChoice supermarket in Geraldine.
Foodstuffs NZ spokeswoman Antoinette Laird said, "We are aware of an issue with a customer finding a foreign object in a punnet of strawberries purchased at one of our stores in Timaru.
"Remaining product has since been removed from sale. We have a very robust process in place."
Laird said they were liaising with the police and MPI directly regarding this and as such were unable to comment further.
"Customer safety is our number one priority and we encourage all customers to contact stores directly should they ever encounter a tampering issue with a product," she said.
A police spokesperson confirmed police received a report on Monday afternoon regarding a needle in a strawberry in Timaru, and are working together with MPI on the matter.
A MPI New Zealand Food Safety spokesperson said it was also aware of a report of a needle found in strawberries purchased from a Timaru Pak'nSave store.
"NZFS is working with the police and will take any action needed to mitigate public health risk," they said.
"At this stage, we have no reason to believe this case is anything but an isolated incident. We've no evidence of any risks in the supply chain or the food safety system.
"Rather, this is a potentially criminal activity and it is being treated as such. The store in question has decided as a precaution to remove that product from its shelves and we support that decision."
NZFS advice to consumers remains: if you see something out of the ordinary, please take it to your retailer or call 0800 00 83 33.
Foreign objects in fresh produce:
• December 10:
Needle found in strawberry bought at Pak'nSave Timaru.
• December 6: Pin found in strawberry brought at Pak'nSave Cameron Rd in Tauranga.
• November 25: Needle found in a capsicum bought at Countdown Bureta Park in Tauranga.
• November 24: Needle found inside a punnet of strawberries purchased at FreshChoice supermarket in Geraldine.
• September 23: Three needles found in three strawberries in one imported punnet of Australian Choice brand strawberries at Countdown St Lukes in Auckland.