Stock was pulled from supermarket shelves after a Dunedin man found a needle in his banana.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said it was investigating after a man found a long, thin needle when he bit into a banana bought from Countdown Andersons Bay.
His wife, who did not want to be identified, said she had bought the bunch of bananas on Saturday.
Her husband noticed the needle when he started eating the banana at work — it was not visible from the outside, she said. They took the bananas back to the store.
She said both Countdown and the ministry took the issue seriously, and she was told the store had been reviewing security camera footage.
In a way, it was lucky her husband had picked up that particular banana, the woman said. Often they used bananas in smoothies for breakfast, and their blender would have broken the needle into pieces small enough to have been swallowed.
Ministry food compliance services national manager Melinda Sando said the ministry had spoke to Countdown and was investigating.
There was nothing to suggest the needle was added in the supply chain, and it appeared to be an isolated incident, she said.
Countdown corporate affairs, safety and sustainability general manager Kiri Hannifin said the supermarket chain was made aware of the issue on Monday, and it immediately notified the ministry.
It also temporarily removed the bananas from shelves at its Andersons Bay and Dunedin South stores, but had been advised it could sell them again. It had followed the ministry’s guidance and had not been directed to take any further action.
“Food safety is the utmost priority for Countdown and we take incidents like this extremely seriously.”
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