Australia: Needle found in mango as crisis continues

September 20 , 2018

Australian police say that a mango was sold with a small needle in it, prompting fresh fears over the country’s fruit, CNN reported.

A spokesman for police in New South Wales told CNN that a customer bought a mango with the sharp item inside it in West Gosford.

The announcement comes on the same day Australian retail giant Woolworths temporarily pulled sewing needles from its stores after at least 100 reported cases of the objects being inserted into strawberries nationwide.

“We’ve taken the precautionary step of temporarily removing sewing needles from sale in our stores,” Woolworths said in a statement. “The safety of our customers is our top priority.”

Woolworths has also suspended sales of needles online, though they were still available on the website of Coles, its major competitor.
Needles were first reported in strawberries in the state of Queensland last week, but they’ve since been found in all six Australian states, in at least six brands. There are also isolated cases of needles in a banana and an apple.

Australia exports strawberries to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE, among others. One big retailer in New Zealand has already withdrawn Australian strawberries from sale.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described those who have hidden needles in fruit as “cowards” and “grubs”, urging people to continuing buying strawberries with care.

He also announced new laws will be introduced so people contaminating strawberries face more jail time.

For more in-depth coverage of the strawberry crisis, please read our latest article: Solidarity against strawberry sabotage: Community lifts Aussie grower spirits

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