‘Rusty’ thumbtack found inside NZ blueberry dessert

As the needle-in-produce saga in Australia subsides, it has spread to New Zealand, probably by dim-witted copycats.

Zoe Hunter of the New Zealand Herald reports a batch of blueberries has been removed from supermarket shelves after a Tauranga man believes he found a “rusty” thumbtack inside the small fruit.

The man, who would only be named as Mr Osborne, was celebrating his wife’s birthday at his mother-in-law’s home last night and took the last mouthful of his dessert when he bit into a thumbtack.

“Luckily I bit into it sideways and spat out the tack,” he said.

He believes the thumbtack was inside one of the blueberries that his mother-in-law used in her cake recipe.

“It seems pretty well thought out because when I pushed it into the side of the blueberry you couldn’t see it,” he said. “It was rusty and slightly bent.”

The man had learned blueberries were a good snack for dogs and he and his wife had just got a new puppy.

“Lucky I did not give it to my dog,” he said.

After the incident, Osborne put the blueberry and thumbtack inside a ziplock bag and notified supermarket staff, who he said had handled the complaint well.

Osborne said his mother-in-law had bought the punnet of blueberries from Pak’nSave in Pāpāmoa on January 21.

He had posted his find on Facebook to warn people about checking their fruit thoroughly before eating it.

A Foodstuffs spokesperson said the company had been notified about the incident and an investigation was under way.

“The batch has been pulled from store shelves and we are going through our stringent investigative process,” she said.

“The outcome of the investigation will be referred to the authorities for their review and support.”

The find was the latest in a series of sharp objects finds in produce around New Zealand.

Foreign objects in fruit and vege in 2018:
December: Pin found in strawberry bought at Pak’nSave Cameron Rd
November: Needle found in a capsicum bought at Countdown Bureta 
November: Needle found inside a punnet of strawberries purchased at a supermarket in the South Island in November
September: Three needles found in three strawberries in one imported punnet of Australian Choice brand strawberries at Countdown St Lukes in Auckland

New Zealand Food Safety advice: 
If you see something out of the ordinary, please take it to your retailer or give us a call on 0800 00 83 33.

‘We have comprehensive food safety standards’ Wooden object found in breadrolls bought at Australian Woolworths

When a woman from Gailes fed her hungry niece a basic ham and cheese sandwich she got a mouthful she wasn’t expecting.

woolies.bread.wood.jan.16Tanya Frost who was babysitting her niece Samantha, 7, made the sandwich using breadrolls purchased from Woolworths at Orion Springfield.

She said Samantha was halfway through the sandwich when she found a wooden object, bigger than a toothpick in the bread.

“It was hanging out of her mouth. I was so shocked because that’s something a child could swallow,” Ms Frost told the Springfield News.

“I checked her mouth and made sure she had no chipped teeth or worse.”

“My parents took the stick and the breadrolls and spoke to the manager of the bakery,” she said.

“She couldn’t really explain how it happened.

“She said they knead the dough by hand, but there were machines there. Then she said they use the machines and then knead it but use their hands to take it out then lay it flat and place the mould over it.”

Ms Frost said the manager denied the wooden object could have been a result of poor bakery practice or faulty machinery.

“The lady did apologise and gave our money back. She also gave us a six pack of new breadrolls,” she said.

A Woolworths spokesperson told the South-West News that, “We have comprehensive food safety and quality standards in place to ensure we are delivering the highest quality products to our customers.”