Congratulations are in order to the person who reportedly snuck sewing needles into a punnet of Australian strawberries sold in New Zealand, who may just be one of the biggest gronks to emerge in the ongoing food-tampering scandal.
An Auckland customer of supermarket chain Countdown reportedly discovered the stabby bits inside a punnet of berries from Western Australia last week, spurring the chain to pull Choice branded berries from its shelves.
It’s the first time an Australian-style incidence of spiked berries has been reported in New Zealand, and also serves as a particularly low point for all involved.
The matter has been referred to NZ Police and the Ministry for Primary Industries, who are investigating the report.
Discussing the report on the radio this morning, Kiwi MP Damien O’Connor said there were fears the incident may have been caused by a copycat saboteur. Those fears have been stoked by the fact Choice is not one of the Australian brands specifically singled out for contamination risk.
As a result of the ongoing crisis, some New Zealand growers are thought to be considering the use of metal detectors in the short-term to confirm their berries are safe before being shipped to stores.
Earlier, a major distributor to Kiwi supermarkets announced it had suspended the shipment of Australian strawberries as a precautionary measure.
Strawberries. Don’t spike ’em, folks.