Needle found in Sydney apple: report

A woman has reportedly found a needle inside an apple she bought from a Woolworths supermarket in Sydney.

The Seven Network on Tuesday reported the needle was found in a six-pack of Pink Lady apples purchased from a supermarket at The Ponds in northest Sydney.

The Kellyville Ridge mother reportedly found the needle when peeling an apple for her daughters on Tuesday morning.

"I just thought wow this can't possibly be happening," she told the Seven Network.

Sewing needles have been found in all six states in Australia. Photo: Twitter
Sewing needles have been found in all six states in Australia. Photo: Twitter
"Not in apples. I'd seen the news about the strawberries and I'd been vigilant about cutting those up for the girls but to see this in an apple ..."

A Woolworths spokesman told AAP "we're looking into this" while NSW Police said they were also investigating.

Sewing needles have been found in strawberries in all six states, with New Zealand announcing this week it would pull the Australian-grown fruit from its supermarket shelves.

A health warning to throw out or cut up strawberries remains in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Queensland Police's investigation into the strawberry contamination was further complicated this week when a 62-year-old woman was caught putting a needle into a banana in a shop in Mackay, in an apparent copycat act.

The woman, who is understood to have mental health issues, was given a warning and referred to appropriate support services.

"The community is reminded that contaminating food is treated as a serious offence and a threat to public safety," a police spokesperson said.

"All reported incidents will be investigated thoroughly."

Queensland farmer using metal detectors

A strawberry farmer will install metal detectors to check his produce as the industry reels following the discovery of sewing needles in punnets of the fruit.

Glass House Mountains farmer Leonard Smith from Queensland said that the safety measure would cost him about $A30,000 ($NZ32,600), but would hopefully get the rest of this season's fruit back on supermarket shelves.

"I need to get them in service in weeks so I can pay some debt off so I don't have to have some uncomfortable conversations,'' Mr Smith told The Courier-Mail.

However, he said there was no guarantee they would work if the contamination was occurring offsite.

Mr Smith's farm was forced to burn off 500,000 unsellable plants on the weekend as it was cheaper to destroy them than pick them. He said other growers were being forced to do the same.

Queensland Strawberry Growers Association vice president Adrian Schultz said "commercial terrorism" was bringing an industry to its knees.

"I'm angry for all the associated people, it's the farmers, the people who supply them, the packaging people, the truckies with families to support, who suddenly lose their jobs ... it's far-reaching," he said yesterday.



The mother who claims to have found the needle in the apple is extremely impressive at peeling the apple. The skin was completely removed around the needle with no sign of damage to the flesh of the apple despite the needle sticking quite a few mm out from the flesh. Call me a skeptic if you wish, but I cannot help but believe that the needle was inserted into the apple after it was peeled.