Dead end for police investigation into Auckland strawberry scare

New Zealand: 'All avenues exhausted'

The hunt for the person -or persons- putting needles into strawberries in an Auckland supermarket has proved fruitless. Police launched an inquiry in September when the needles were found inside fruit imported from Australia. The punnet came from Countdown in St Lukes.

The find came amid a lengthy sabotage scare in Australia, leading to fruit being dumped and growers put under pressure. In the end, at least 100 cases were reported across Australia.

It is believed that the Choice brand strawberries which had needles in them in Auckland were not part of the scare in Australia.

That led to questions around whether the needles ended up in the strawberries before or after they came into the country. quoted police officials as saying: “We investigated the incident thoroughly. There were no further reports related to the case.”

Biosecurity Minister and Minister for Food Safety Damien O’Connor, who at the time called the needle find sick and sordid, also says there is no further danger: “Investigations have confirmed this is a one-off incident, and while we should always be vigilant there is no ongoing threat to New Zealand consumers.”

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