Needle in mandarin is third case of fruit tampering in three days
Sabotaged fruit is again being found, heaping further pressure on supermarkets struggling to ensure shoppers are COVID-safe.
South Australian police are investigating another claim of fruit tampering – the third in as many days, this time involving a needle in a mandarin.
Earlier in the week, police released details of other incidents, including needles in a punnet of strawberries and in an avocado, and thumbtacks in a loaf of bread at a Woolworths outlet in Golden Grove in SA.
A thumbtack was also reported to have been found in a punnet of strawberries at a Foodland supermarket in Goolwa.
Police said they were “appalled by the reckless actions” of those responsible and SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens vowed to “come down as hard as we possibly can” on those responsible.
“We will dedicate resources to crush this stupidity as quickly as possible,” he said.
“These acts are incredibly malicious and we’re doing as much as we can to identify people who are contaminating produce in our supermarkets.”
Commissioner Stevens said he was amazed that such incidents were re-emerging when businesses were trying to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the supermarket had launched an investigation and was inspecting all mandarins to ensure no further contamination.
The Australian strawberry industry was devastated by a wave of needle and sharp object tampering incidents in 2018 in South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and New South Wales.